SHS student athlete, 16, collapses, dies

STERLING – A 16-year-old Sterling High School athlete collapsed Sunday and died while playing basketball during an open gym session at the school.

Coaches who were on hand called 911, and although the response was quick, “our student athlete did not make it,” Superintendent Tad Everett said Monday.

The boy, whose name is being withheld while family is being notified, was new to SHS this year.

“Though we did not know him long, he was an outstanding young man,” Everett said. “Our thoughts and prayers and strong condolences are with his family.”

A cause of death is not yet available. Police are not investigating, Chief Tim Morgan said.

Counselors were on hand Monday at the school for students and staff.

“This was their friend, their classmate, their student, and so we just provided those opportunities for them to grieve,” Everett said.

“My heart aches for this student and his family. This is something that no school or family should have to go through. It’s one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things we have to deal with.”

Whiteside County Coroner Joe McDonald could not be reached for further details.