New York teen dies during basketball tryout, his parents say

A 15-year-old boy in New York unexpectedly died Wednesday after collapsing during a high school basketball tryout, a teen who was seemingly in good health, his heartbroken parents say.

Carmyne Payton, a sophomore at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School on Long Island, collapsed while sprinting, according to a report from NBC New York.

“He was at the second day for tryouts,” Payton’s father, Arthur Payton, told the outlet. “I had just spoken to him. He was very excited. I told him to call me when he got out.”

That phone call never arrived.

Instead, the news outlet reported, Arthur Payton and the teen’s mother, Tiffany Wofford, were called to the school where they watched emergency medical technicians attempt to revive their son.

“My baby.  … I don’t even know. A healthy 15-year-old. I don’t know, I don’t understand,” Wofford told NBC New York through tears while wearing her late son’s sweatshirt and his school identification card.

“They took him to the hospital … he just never woke up,” she said.

Payton’s parents did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for comment.

Homicide detectives investigated the death of a 15-year-old male on Wednesday that “occurred inside Copiague High School,” Suffolk County police said in a short statement Friday. Investigators believed the death was not a criminal matter.

Principal Joseph M. Agosta and district Superintendent Kathleen Bannon informed parents Wednesday in letters of a student death, a district spokeswoman said.

Agosta’s letter, which did not name the teen, said there would be counselors at the school to help during the difficult time.

“The Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School has experienced the death of a student that has affected us deeply,” the letter said. “As a school staff, we encourage you to listen carefully to your child, answer questions openly and honestly if they occur, and let your child know that even adults do not have all the answers to the questions they may have. Accepting your child’s feelings and validating these feelings will be beneficial.”

Payton had four siblings, NBC New York reported, was an avid skateboarder and loved art. He practiced hard during the summer in the hopes of making the basketball team.

An autopsy will determine a cause of death, his father said. His parents said he had asthma, but it was under control.

“‘Dad, I love you,’” were his son’s last words, Arthur Payton said. “I just got to cherish that moment forever now.”

This content was originally published here.

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