Lakeside athlete dies at Family Y

Center on school basketball team collapses on court

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A Lakeside High School athlete collapsed and died Monday afternoon after a basketball game with friends.

Vergil King: Senior was 11 days short of his 18th birthday. An autopsy is to be performed in Atlanta today.   Special
Special
Vergil King: Senior was 11 days short of his 18th birthday. An autopsy is to be performed in Atlanta today.

Columbia County schools were closed for the Columbus Day holiday, so Lakeside High senior Vergil King used the time away from classes to hone his basketball game at the Wilson Branch of The Family Y on Wheeler Road.

"Mr. King ... walked off the court when he lay down on the floor at the end of the court and grabbed his chest," Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten said in an e-mail.

King, who was just 11 days shy of his 18th birthday, was taken to Doctors Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:40 p.m., Tuten said.

Danny McConnell, the president and chief executive officer of The Family Y, doesn't believe King made it out of the gym alive.

"We're fairly confident that when he left the branch here that (EMTs) were having a hard time getting a pulse or any breathing from him," McConnell said.

Several Family Y staff with medical training rushed to help King, but McConnell said nothing could be done.

"He had a lot of assistance pretty quick," he said. "It just happened pretty quick."

Lakeside Athletic Director Donnie Burch called King a "naturally gifted basketball player."

"This is a shock to everybody," said Burch, who coached King on the school's junior varsity squad. "He was in good shape. ... Those things aren't supposed to happen."

Burch said that King, a starting center for the Panthers, had not decided on plans to play basketball in college but that he was good enough.

"He had all the tools to go play in college," he said.

When classes at Lakeside resume today, school psychologists and counselors will be on hand in the media center for students who need them, said Burch, who is a school counselor.

"The big thing with Vergil is he was well-liked by the student body," Burch said. "He had a lot of friends."

Counseling for King's family and staff at The Family Y also will be available, McConnell said.

"Anytime something like this happens, it is an emotional time for everyone involved," he said. "We're in the middle of that and trying to show support for the family, who obviously is hurting."

King is the second Lakeside High athlete to die this year. Football player Nicholas Deshawn Hartfield, 17, drowned in August while swimming with friends in the Savannah River.

Tuten said an autopsy will be performed today at the state crime lab in Atlanta to determine the cause of death.

Comments (46) Add comment
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Mwilli5009
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Mwilli5009 10/12/10 - 05:40 am
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Perhaps you aren't of the

Perhaps you aren't of the medical mindset, but based on information in the story, hypertropic cardiomyopathy (broken down: excessive development of the muscle of the heart) is likely. Any medical professional would say that due to the nature of the incident described above.

Don't think the family would appreciate it? If it turns out to be what I am describing, don't you think they will be saying exactly what Fiat and I have said earlier? Testing is vital in the US for this condition because it is asymptomatic and taking young lives. This is something I believe in and am educated about, which is why I posted about it here.

Maybe you shouldn't be looking to argue with others on this thread. I'd say that is MUCH more rude than anything Fiat or I have said.

Martinez
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Martinez 10/12/10 - 05:45 am
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settle down a little Corqi -

settle down a little Corqi - Assume the best meaning this was a medical issue, most likely undeteched, as opposed to the result of other options such as the missuse of medications, some form of substance issues etc.

Regardless of how or why... this is a very sad occurence. My heart goes out to his family, friends, classmates etc.

nobles489
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nobles489 10/12/10 - 05:59 am
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Corgimom and Fiat_Lux... you

Corgimom and Fiat_Lux... you two need to stop fighting over comments!! It's stupid especially when there is another died teen involved. This is my friend that you two are having an argument over. consider the people who knew him and are reading these comments next time.

Miss you Vergil!!!!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/12/10 - 06:46 am
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A simple EKG will pickup

A simple EKG will pickup abnormalities such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Then the patient could be referred for an echocardiogram. The American Heart Association is against all athletes routinely having EKG's due to costs and so on. Remember a physician has to order the test and interpret the results.

Chillen
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Chillen 10/12/10 - 08:10 am
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A cardiologist, Dr.

A cardiologist, Dr. Rosenfeld, who hosts Sunday Morning Housecall (on Fox News) said just 3 or 4 weeks ago that EVERY high school athlete should have an EKG before participating in sports and then more tests if something doesn't look right.

This test should be part of the required physical examination form that every athlete has to fill out. I know it will cost the families more, but to me it's worth it to minimize the risk. Of course this didn't happen at school but it could have and probably eventually would have. I'm so sorry for the family. I can't even imagine their grief, it is unimaginable.

blakkone
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blakkone 10/12/10 - 08:20 am
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CorgiMom...shame on you for

CorgiMom...shame on you for that tastless comment and a contreversial demeanor relating to a story like this. A young man has tragically passed away doing something that he loved to do...play a game of basketball. Whatever u had to say, if it wasnt in respect to him and his family, keep it to yourself.

ramble
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ramble 10/12/10 - 08:41 am
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The decrease in sudden

The decrease in sudden cardiac death mentioned earlier that has been noted in Italy is due to screening EKG's on every child prior to beginning any competative sport. In this country we have made a decision that it is too expensive to perform EKG's on every athlete. I would argue that it's a matter of priorities. We could easily screen every athlete with an EKG if funds were diverted from other projects. There are many philanthropic organizations devoted to funding screening ekg's and echo's in young athletes. It will take a concerted effort from parents, medical personnel, govt officials, and private industry to develop and put into place adequate screening programs. It's about time we get started.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 10/12/10 - 09:14 am
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My prayers and love to you

My prayers and love to you Mrs. S. on the passing of your precious son. May the faith you have in our Lord sustain and comfort you during these difficult days ahead.

sueboo418
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sueboo418 10/12/10 - 12:21 pm
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Leave it to corgimom to make

Leave it to corgimom to make unnecessary comments. I can not even imagine what this family is going thru at this time and they need prayers not people starting stuff on here.

Tina333
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Tina333 10/12/10 - 12:48 pm
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My heart hurts for the Family

My heart hurts for the Family and friends of Vergil, my deepest Sympahty is with them. I was right there in Hall. We never know :( Rest in Peace Vergil

Jillian
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Jillian 10/12/10 - 01:48 pm
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It's been awhile since my

It's been awhile since my kid's played football, but I know the annual physical was pretty much a joke..wait over an hour to see the dr. and then out less than 2 minutes later, short some $$$$. A total waste of time.

There should be a thorough medical exam required.

Even if it turns out drugs or other abusive substances were found in this part. case it doesn't take away from the fact current medical exams are insufficient.

corgimom
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corgimom 10/12/10 - 05:20 pm
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I have never once mentioned

I have never once mentioned any illegal thing happening with that child.

Sudden death can occur from many medical conditions.

Interesting that people ASSUMED that's what I meant- says far more about them than me.

All of you need to step up to become medical examiners- since you can determine why people died from reading newspaper stories. What talent you possess!

I will repeat what I said- why don't y'all wait until a cause of death is established before you start making assumptions and hurting the family by saying what should've, could've, would've been done?

mable8
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mable8 10/12/10 - 05:31 pm
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Such a tragic situation;

Such a tragic situation; condolences to the family. It seems that we are hearing more and more of such tragedies; makes one wonder what is happening to the health of our youth.

sassygirl3914
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sassygirl3914 10/12/10 - 08:22 pm
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this happens at lakeside or

this happens at lakeside or greenbrier every single year..these schools are obviously cursed

LMB
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LMB 10/12/10 - 09:09 pm
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How sad :( My thoughts and

How sad :( My thoughts and prayers are with this young mans family. God Bless them in this difficult time.

nobles489
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nobles489 10/14/10 - 07:31 pm
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Corgimom, You need to keep

Corgimom, You need to keep your remarks to yourself. You are the rudest person I think I've ever read anything by. You know what you should do? You should go back to Nick Hartfield's story. You were rude then too, I left you a comment, you should read it. Half of the Lakeside body is going to miss school tomorrow to go to Vergil's funeral. That's how loved he was. I've known Vergil for a long time and he's not just "that child".

You must not have children or friends, and if you ever did you must have made them scatter by your LACK OF A HEART!! Just because we (Lakeside) are children, doesn't mean that we don't read these comments about our friends who have died tragically. Also, it really doesn't help when there are people like you who leave stupid comments.

Find a new hobby! Because what you said in your comment couldn't have been construed as anything but mean.

I love you V. King!!! I miss you so much. Save me a spot up there and I hope you're playing cards with Nick!! :)

nobles489
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nobles489 11/20/10 - 04:40 pm
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Corgimom, I think that Fiat

Corgimom, I think that Fiat was talking about the kind of person Vergil was, and by the way he was an amazing person.

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