OPINION | Views expressed in this article reflect the author's opinion.
Photo illustration of hospital via Imagine Art

17-year-old Caleb White of Pinson Valley High School in Alabama died suddenly after collapsing on the court while playing the game he loved.

He was rushed to the hospital around 1:15 p.m., but doctors were unable to revive him. His grandfather, George Varnadoe Jr., announced the tragic news on Facebook.

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Caleb was ranked number 3 in Alabama and number 43 in the entire country, according to ESPN.

“At 17, he was dead!!!!” Varnadoe wrote in a grieving social media post. White was an honor student and known by friends and family for being “very respectful, highly intellect, an excellent role model, and a phenomenal basketball player.”

“Our whole family was really looking forward to his upcoming senior season and afterwards, playing for a D-1 school and then perhaps the NBA,” Varnadoe wrote. “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. We all have an appointment with God, one that you can’t reschedule.”

The Jefferson County Coroner has yet to determine the cause of death, but it is suspected to be cardia arrest.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Caleb’s family, his classmates and basketball team and extended school family,” AHSAA executive director Alvin Briggs said.

“He was an outstanding student-athlete who played in the North-South All-Star Basketball Game last month. He was an outstanding student-athlete and role model.”