Photo provided by Aundrea Perry
SEBASTIAN — A 17-year-old student died late Saturday after collapsing while playing basketball inside a high school gym, school officials said.
The teen – identified as Kamaree Jevon Lyons, of Sebastian – was well-loved by his friends and teachers, school officials said.
“He walked off the court and collapsed,” School District of Indian River County spokeswoman Cristen McMillan said. “There will be lots of emotions tomorrow at school. We will have grief counselors at Sebastian River High School starting Monday for students and teachers. They will stay as long as they are needed.”
Lyons was taken by ambulance to the Sebastian River Medical Center, where he later died, McMillan said. McMillan said she could not speculate on what caused the teen’s death and that an autopsy would be performed.
McMillan did say that the indoor gym had air-conditioning.
Nearly 100 people left comments under a Facebook video tribute to Lyons, posted Saturday by the SRHS Touchdown Club. Some who posted comments described the teen as “one of the most kind-hearted people you could ever meet.”
Lyons played for the Sharks football and basketball teams at Sebastian River High School, 9001 Shark Boulevard, school officials said. The touchdown club’s tribute video has a caption that reads, “I am at a loss for words, with a heavy heart, as we lost one of our SHARK WARRIORS tonight, Kamaree Lyons #43.”
Video provided by SRHS Touchdown Club
Good evening Shark Nation, "I am at a loss for words, with a heavy heart, as we lost one of our SHARK WARRIORS tonight, Kamaree Lyons #43.
Posted by SRHS Touchdown Club on Saturday, September 15, 2018
McMillan said Lyons, a senior at Sebastian River High School, was playing basketball at an open gym about 7:30 p.m. Saturday on the campus. Coaches at the school were at the gym supervising those inside.
The teenager then walked off the court and collapsed, McMillan said. It’s unclear if Lyons had any known medical conditions.
The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death, sheriff’s spokesman Maj. Eric Flowers said. Flowers did not release any further details.
Lyons had attended the Gifford Youth Achievement Center since he was in kindergarten, said GYAC Marketing Coordinator Christina Tascon. The center left a tribute to the teen on its Facebook page, where Executive Director Angelia Perry described Lyons as “a sweet young man who was well-loved and respected by his friends and family at GYAC.”
“Please keep Kamaree, his family, friends and teammates at Sebastian River High School where he played football in your prayers at this very sad time,” Perry said in the Facebook post.
Tony Brown, president of the local NAACP chapter and mentor of the Boys 2 Men 2 Greatness Mentoring Program, said his mentee, Lyons, called him “Uncle Tony.”
“He was just an awesome kid. He will truly be missed,” Brown said. “I’ve known him for four years and was close with his entire family. This affected a lot of people.”
Boys 2 Men 2 Greatness matches black mentees with black mentors, said program director Aundrea Perry. Perry said Lyons was one of the lead mentees in the program and always traveled with the mentors on educational and recreational trips.
“He was a regular. I didn’t have to call him to make him come,” Perry said. Perry said Lyons’ mother, who passed away a few years ago, introduced him to the program.
The director said Lyons became like an adopted son to her.
“We always tried to keep him close,” Perry said. “He called me ‘mom’ and I called him ‘son.'”
Family friend Linda Morgan said she has known Lyons since he was five years old.
“He has always been a respectful kid,” said Morgan, 54 of Brevard County. “He was a gentleman and very well spoken.”
No further information was available.