Counselors were on the campus at Phoenix Cesar Chavez on Tuesday morning to speak with students after a sophomore basketball player collapsed and died at the school on Monday afternoon.
School officials said Armeil Watson collapsed in the school’s gymnasium on Monday afternoon and was taken to a hospital in extremely critical condition.
“It was open gym and they were running up and down pretty hard,” said Chavez coach Gary Lee. “He was playing well. His team was winning. He turned around to go and just wilted.”
Watson, who would have turned 16 on Sunday, was a top player on the Chavez junior varsity team who was promoted to the varsity squad during the playoffs, Lee said.
After Watson collapsed, athletic trainers were quickly on the scene, Lee said, and paramedics arrived shortly after.
A cause of death has not been determined.
“It’s just tragic,” Lee said.
Few students were at the school on Tuesday morning because upperclassmen were taking tests but a district spokesman said students were expected to arrive at the school near 43rd Avenue and Baseline Road later Tuesday morning and counselors will be on hand to speak with them.
Plans were being put in place for a memorial at a local park later in the week.
“All of us in the Cesar Chavez community are deeply saddened by the passing of this young man,” Gayman said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Lee said teammates and classmates would remember Watson as a great kid with a positive attitude.
“He practiced all the time, played thousands of games,” Lee said. “The sophomores in the program are very close. They all played together as freshmen. I remember him hitting the game-winning bucket his freshman year. He was so happy. Basketball gave him so much joy.”