A Oregon State football player, who was playing recreational basketball on Wednesday night, collapsed and later died, the university said.
The death of the freshman defensive tackle, Fred Thompson, shocked the campus and the college football world. According to the Associated Press, Thompson may have suffered from a type of irregular heartbeat that can lead to death. He was 19 years old.
The university said Thompson was playing basketball at a recreation center on Oregon State campus when he collapsed. He was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis where he was pronounced dead, the university said. The Associated Press reported that an autopsy would be done on Friday.
The 6-foot-4 freshman grew up in Oakland, California, according to his bio on the Oregon State website. He played at Oakland Tech High School, and his profile states that Thompson chose the school because of the “family vibe, nice campus and great academics.” He would’ve turned 20 on Sunday.
“This is just one of those things you never want to be a part of. We will never forget Fred,” said Oregon State coach Mike Riley, according to the AP. “I was so proud of him.”
He also added that Thompson didn’t have a history of heart issues.
The university honored the football player by posting his picture on the front page of the athletic department’s website. The picture shows Thompson wearing a shirt with “OS” on the collar, with the football field in the background. His number 92 fades into the picture.
“The thoughts and prayers of Beaver Nation are with Fred’s Family,” a message on the bottom of the picture reads.