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Top High School Basketball Player Dies on the Court

James Hampton was hoping to one day help his family out of poverty
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2018 3:00 PM CDT
Teen died during basketball tournament   (Getty)

(Newser) – A top-ranked high school basketball player died suddenly during a game before he was able to fulfill his dream of using his gifts to help his family out of poverty. Per CBS News, James Hampton collapsed during a Nike Elite Youth Basketball League game in Virginia on Saturday. The 6'5" teen from Charlotte, North Carolina was a Class of 2019 prospect and just 17 years old. Just last year, a tweet written by the teen revealed what drove him to succeed and becomes all the more heartbreaking in the wake of his untimely death. "Family depending on me, can't stop now. In couple years it's won't be Section8 living," he wrote.

Team director Jacoby Davis told the Charlotte Observer that Hampton had suffered seizures the year prior. His last words on Saturday evening were reportedly "hey ref" directed at an official before he collapsed. The teen appeared unresponsive as a medical team ran to the court and administered CPR before an ambulance rushed him to a hospital. Among the shocked attendees in the stands Saturday was NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, whose son was also in the same tournament. "Emotional day at Nike EYBL in Virginia after the passing of James Hampton. My thoughts go out to the young man’s family, friends and teammates. RIP, James," Pippen tweeted. (Read more seizure stories.)

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