Died suddenly: Alabama basketball player, 17; Texas cheerleader, 16

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News August 13, 2023

Added to the tragic list of “died suddenly” in the past two weeks are 17-year-old Alabama high school basketball player Caleb White, and 16-year-old Texas cheerleader Callie Mitchell.

Caleb White

White, one of the top high school guards in the nation, died Thursday after collapsing on the court while training with his teammates at Pinson Valley High School, according to his grandfather.

He suddenly dropped to the ground and was rushed to the hospital, but doctors couldn’t revive him, George Varnadoe Jr. said on Facebook.

“At 17, he was dead!!!!” Varnadoe wrote, adding that his grandson was an “honor student, very respectful, high intellect, excellent role model, phenomenal basketball player. Our whole family was really looking forward to his upcoming senior season and afterwards, playing for a D-1 school and then perhaps the NBA. But…..it wasn’t meant to be.”

Varnadoe said his grandson suffered cardiac arrest, but the Jefferson County Coroner has yet to determine a ruling, AL.com reported.

The 6-feet tall senior was a first-team all-state player for Pinson Valley last season as a junior as he averaged 20.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. He was one of three finalists for Class 6A player of the year, according to the Alabama High School Athletic Association. White was the No. 3 player in the state and No. 43 in the country, according to rankings by ESPN.

Mitchell was pronounced dead on Aug. 1, just a few days after she was found unresponsive at cheerleader camp at Texas A&M University, her mother, Michelle Donahue, told KHOU 11.

Mitchell, who was set to start her junior year at Morton Ranch High School in Katy, Texas, started cheerleading at just 2-years-old, her parents said.

The active young woman’s death, they continued, came with zero warning signs.

A few days Mitchell arrived at camp, the cheer coach called and asked if their daughter had “‘a problem waking up in the morning.’”

By the time the family got to the Texas A&M campus, the coach had already performed CPR on the teen.

“If it wasn’t for [Coach] Eberly, we would have never had the chance to say goodbye,” her mother said.

Almost two weeks after her passing, her parents want others to remember Mitchell’s faith — which was so devout she even named her car “Faith,” according to her obituary.

The cheerleader’s last Instagram Story, they said, read, “His plan over mine.”

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