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Basketball Player Dies After Conditioning Drills

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Tampa Bay area high school basketball player collapsed and died after participating in conditioning drills.

The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/1dBpSbp ) reports 18-year-old Milo Meeks died Saturday at Brandon Regional Hospital.

Meeks was a senior at Brandon High after transferring from Armwood High School in Seffner this year.

His former coach at Armwood, Jeff Pafunda, told the newspaper he had spoken with Meeks’ mother, who said the teen had gone inside for a drink of water Friday and collapsed. Paramedics were called and he was placed on a ventilator but never regained the ability to breathe on his own.

“Everyone would hold his hand and say his name, no response at all. It was unbelievable,” Pafunda said.

The coach said players, administrators and other coaches from Meeks’ current and former schools gathered in the hospital hallway. About 50 people formed a prayer circle there after he was pronounced dead.

“We took up the whole hallway basically, down both sides of the wall,” said Pafunda, who took turns holding Meeks’ hand at the hospital.

Meeks was named MVP of Armwood’s junior varsity team as a sophomore and was a varsity backup last season.

“Great kid, quiet,” said Armwood’s junior varsity coach, Ben Bromley. “He was never a kid who you were like, ‘I’ve got to check on him; I’ve got to check his grades.’ He was never that type of kid.”

Pafunda said Meeks never showed any sign of a medical condition. He said his team at Armwood does similar conditioning drills.

“His mom said he had asthma as a child, but a lot of kids do,” Pafunda said. “No incident ever. He was cleared medically all three years. It’s just unbelievable.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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