High School Basketball Player in South Dakota Dies After Collapsing in Practice

A boy who played high school basketball in South Dakota died after collapsing in practice on Monday according to USA Today. The boy played basketball for Dupree High School and the team was doing when he collapsed. CPR, as well as life-saving measures, were performed until first responders arrived and he was then rushed to the hospital.

"It was a tragic incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and community," Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator Remi Bald Eagle said in a statement to the Argus Leader. "The Sheriff's Office asks for privacy for the individuals involved to go through the grieving process.

"We are grateful for the support that the athletic community has shown for the community of Dupree and it's really a testament to the character these programs are charged in creating in these young students."

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement is investigating the case and the cause of death has not been released.

"It was decided that this is a tragedy for our families, school and community. We are opting out of giving any interviews as this is very personal to each (of us) since we are a small community and are all grieving the loss," Mary Farlee, the athletic director at Dupree wrote in an email.

Ray Taken Alive, the head coach at McLaughlin High School, sent his condolences to Dupree and he shared a video of his teams honoring the student who passed away.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the boy's family. It went live Wednesday morning and it was organized by Sacred Hoops which is an "AAU basketball program which provides opportunities and support to Native American athletes."

"These are things you never think about having to deal with as a coach," Sacred Hoops program director Allan Bertram said to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. "It's a very tragic event, something that's very difficult to overcome, but the one positive thing you can take out of it is when you are on a team, you have each other to rely on and you have good, solid adults who can help guide you through this."

As of Thursday morning, over $1,600 has been raised with the goal being $1,500.


"I think the state of South Dakota recoiled in shock and sadness yesterday when the news that Dupree freshman, Vernon Mexican Peterson passed away during basketball practice on Monday evening in Dupree," Richard Kevin Winter wrote on the GoFundMe page description.

"We at Sacred Hoops and the entire South Dakota basketball family send our condolences to the family and the community of Dupree itself."