Caleb White, a 17-year-old basketball player from Pinson Valley High School in Alabama, tragically passed away on Thursday after collapsing during a team workout. White, who was a first-team all-state selection in his junior year, was ranked 25th among point guards nationwide and second in Alabama, according to his grandfather, George Varnadoe Jr.
The incident occurred at approximately 1:12 p.m. on Thursday. Despite immediate life-saving measures taken on the scene until paramedics arrived, White was pronounced dead just over an hour later at a nearby hospital. The cause of his sudden collapse remains unknown, with an autopsy scheduled.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) expressed their condolences in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Caleb’s family, his classmates and basketball team, and extended school family,” said AHSAA Executive Director Alvin Briggs. “He was an outstanding student-athlete and role model.”
Pinson Mayor Joe Cochran also expressed his grief on social media. “Heartbroken,” he wrote. “No words can be gathered to provide comfort to a family and community experiencing the loss of young life. I was honored to know Caleb personally and loved the spirit he carried.”
White was not only a star on the court but also in the classroom. “Caleb was an honor student, very respectful, high intellect, excellent role model, phenomenal basketball player,” added his grandfather, Varnadoe.
During his junior year, White averaged 20.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. His performance in his sophomore season was also impressive, with an average of 17.3 points per game.
White’s sudden death has left his family, friends, and the entire community in shock. His older brother, Cam White, paid tribute to him on Facebook, describing him as a passionate leader, an intelligent person, and a great little brother.
Pinson Valley High School Principal Michael Turner sent a note to parents announcing the student’s death and assured them that counseling would be available to students and staff.
White’s death is a tragic loss for the basketball community, as he was a promising player with a bright future ahead. His talent and good nature will be remembered by all who knew him.