A Kansas college football player died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack after the team’s first practice of the season.
Braeden Bradforth, 19, a New Jersey native who was offered a scholarship to play at Garden City Community College, was set to play defensive tackle for the school, according to NJ.com.
The incoming freshman was found medically distressed in his campus dorm room at around 9:30 p.m. after a team meeting, the Garden City Telegram reported. The teammate who found him contacted coach Jeff Sims, who then asked a trainer to help. The trainer called an ambulance shortly afterward, and Bradforth was pronounced dead at a hospital at around 11:30 p.m.
“Braeden will be missed not only by his family but by everyone whose life he touched,” Bradforth’s family said in a message on GoFundMe. “He always took great pride in his family, friends, and community, always looking for ways to help others.”
It’s unclear how Bradforth died, but Sims told Sports Illustrated a doctor told him the player’s death was a result of a blood clot disorder near his heart, which caused him to have a heart attack.
“In dealing with his family you can tell the quality family he came from — our students have used Braeden to inspire themselves to appreciate their families, friends and opportunities that they are fortunate to have in their lives,” Sims told NJ.com.
By Monday morning, more than $9,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe to help bring Bradforth back to Neptune, N.J. for his funeral.