School basketball team rallies after teammate dies on court

James Hampton, a Class of 2019 prospect out of Liberty Heights Athletic Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina, collapsed on the basketball court during a Nike Elite Youth Basketball League game while playing for AAU program Team United and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter Saturday night.

He was 17 years old.

Hampton had a history of seizures

Hampton was running down the court and turned to a nearby ref and said “Hey ref” before he collapsed, per Team United director Jacoby Davis.

“He just fell down on the floor,” Davis told the News & Observer. “He had seizures a year ago and I remember (one of the Team United coaches) telling me that, ‘I saw his eyes rolling back in his head.’ I ran on the court thinking he was having a seizure. A trainer came over and said he didn’t know what was wrong. Another trainer checked his pulse. He said he didn’t have a pulse. It got crazy after that.”

Team United take a moment to remember their fallen teammate. Pic: Twitter

Medical personnel immediately rushed onto the court and began CPR on Hampton. Play was stopped and later suspended on all four courts. Hampton was quickly taken to Sentara CarePlex Hospital, less than a mile away from the Boo Williams Sports Complex in Hampton, Va., where the team was playing.

The team bounced back and decided to play on Sunday

Team United played Sunday, getting a 62-51 win over All Ohio Red.

“They want to play Sunday,” Davis said Saturday night. “They really want to finish it up. The coaches are just torn up right now. So it’s going to be tough, but it’s what the kids want to do.”


With the win, Team United remains in the running to qualify for the esteemed Nike EYBL Peach Jam tournament in July, where many of the nation’s top AAU team compete as college recruiting heats up.

Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and others took to Twitter to express their condolences.

Several prominent people in the basketball community tweeted out their sorrow to Hampton’s family and team, including Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, who was in attendance.