A 15-year-old Long Island student collapsed during drills at a school basketball tryout a day ago and died, his father confirmed to News 4 Thursday. The father says his son, whom he identified as Carmyne Payton, had no prior health issues.
Payton was a 10th grader at Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School. The district announced the student's death, without mentioning his name or the circumstances, in an email to parents late Wednesday, saying the tragedy "has affected us deeply."
In the note to families, Copiague School District Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Bannon expressed "our condolences to the family and friends of this student and pledge to provide the support and counseling necessary to help them through this difficult time."
A team of counselors, psychologists and social workers have been temporarily reassigned to the high school to advist and assist in the grieving process. Additional support staff will be in the building as needed, Bannon wrote.
Suffolk County police confirmed only that a 15-year-old male student died inside Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School Wednesday and that no criminality is suspected. They say an investigation by detectives is ongoing.