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Teen basketball star dies suddenly after collapsing, suffering cardiac arrest

Flowers on a casket. (Unsplash)
August 11, 2023

A teen basketball star from Alabama died suddenly on Thursday after collapsing during a workout with his teammates.

Caleb White, a 17-year-old senior at Pinson Valley High School, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest while working out with his basketball team, according to White’s grandfather, George Varnadoe Jr.

The teen athlete was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“Caleb was an honor student, very respectful, high intellect, excellent role model, phenomenal basketball player, ranked 25th best point guard in his class in the nation and No. 2 in the state of Alabama,” his grandfather wrote in a Facebook post.

“RIP Caleb,’’ he added. “I love you man.”

According to, White was a finalist for Class 6A player of the year last season and was a first-team all-state selection. Averaging 20.9 points a game, the 5-foot-11 athlete also consistently racked up 3.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.9 steals for the Indians.  

White’s grandfather followed up his initial Facebook post with a heartfelt message on God.

“Our whole family was really looking forward to his upcoing senior season and afterwards, playing for a D-1 school and then perhaps the NBA. But…it wasn’t meant to be. You see, everything that happens, happens on time, because God wouldn’t allow it to happen, if it wasn’t on time. And so it was with Caleb,” he wrote. “We all have an appointment with God, one that you can’t reschedule. So we must stay ready, because you won’t have time to get ready. Please continue to pray for my family.”

In a similar incident last week, a teen rugby star died suddenly after being admitted to the hospital with a viral infection, loved ones of the young athlete said.

Joseph Gardiner, 15, passed away on July 31 within 24 hours of falling ill, according to Sky News. Prior to his death, Gardiner started struggling with “shortness of breath” and later suffered a heart attack.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.