Counselors on hand following Dawson HS student's death

February 28, 2013 10:12:24 AM PST
A highly-recruited football star died suddenly during a pick-up game of basketball last night in Pearland. Today, students at Glenda Dawson High School went to class for the first time since news of the shocking death was made public last night.

The school's flag is flying at half staff and students and faculty are in shock over the sudden loss of a young man with what seemed to be a bright future.

With the sun rising over Dawson High School, students faced the day knowing a well-liked classmate and talented football player is no longer with them. Folabi Akanbi, who played on the offensive line, collapsed without warning during a pickup basketball game at Pearland's Silverlake Elementary.

Friends who were with Akanbi say he seemed to be fine, walking and breathing normally, until he suddenly fell to the blacktop. Gabriel Uribe was on the court with him when it happened.

"At first, I did think he just kind of fell and was on the ground or something, but after a couple seconds he turned over and was shaking a lot and I knew something was serious," said friend Gabriel Uribe.

Two of the teens on the court tried to perform CPR while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Akanbi, 17, died at the hospital.

"I was kind of shocked one of my classmates has passed on. I just pray to their family that they just recover from it," said one student.

A standout on the football field, Akanbi seemed to have a bright future ahead of him, having earned a football scholarship to Montana State University, where he was listed as a top 10 recruit.

Norma Longoria, whose daughter is a Dawson High student, says she can't imagine his parent's grief.

"Oh, God, especially if it was his last year. Oh, God, devastated," said Longoria.

Grief counselors will be available for students and staff at Dawson for as long as they're needed.

As for what caused Akanbi to collapse, right now that's still a mystery.

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