MANSFIELD -- A group of just over 100 gathered Wednesday night at Danny Jones Middle School to remember 17-year-old John Lee, who died Tuesday while attending a basketball camp in Reading, Pa.
Lee was entering his senior year at South Grand Prairie High School, played AAU basketball and had aspirations of attending an Ivy League college, according to coaches and friends in attendance.
“John was the kind of kid that coaches hope and pray they get to coach,” said South Grand Prairie basketball coach Brandon Bennett. “Positive attitude. Great teammate. Always gave his best effort, and that was contagious when he was around other kids. He will be sorely missed.”
Lee was not identified by name by authorities in Berks County, Pa., but a report from the Reading Eagle stated that a 17-year-old from Texas died Tuesday after collapsing on a basketball court at Albright University, citing the coroner’s office there.
According to that report, a ruling on the death is still pending.
Thomas Durso, an Albright spokesman, told the Reading Eagle that efforts were made to revive Lee after he collapsed, but Lee remained unresponsive. He was pronounced dead Tuesday night by a staff physician at Reading Hospital.
Bennett said he did not know of any preexisting medical conditions from which Lee may have suffered.
It is with a heavy heart that we must report the unimaginable loss of one of our own. John Lee your spirit will remain in our hearts. pic.twitter.com/oWQZpx3u7o— SGP Basketball (@SGPBasketball) July 26, 2017
Lee played guard on South Grand Prairie’s varsity team last year as a junior, but those who knew him best said he was even more impressive in the classroom.
“All his teachers loved him. It’s an unbelievable loss,” said Donte Wilson, basketball coach at Mansfield Lake Ridge, where Lee played his freshman year, before transferring to South Grand Prairie.
“John Lee is that example for those who come after him, of how to do it right. There was so much more to him than athletics. You just knew he was going to do something special with his life, and now we’re not going to be able to see what that was," Wilson said.
Lee’s immediate family did not attend the vigil. Friends said they were traveling to Pennsylvania.