Buford boy collapses, dies during game

BUFORD, Ga. — A 12-year-old Buford Middle School student collapsed Saturday night during a Gwinnett Basketball League all-star game at the Suwanee Sports Academy and later died.

Seventh-grade student Jeremy Nelson collapsed during the game and died later at the hospital around 10:20 p.m., said his coach Byron Larrieu.

“He was having a heck of a game, when he pulled up from missing a pass,” Larrieu said. “We pulled him out to get some rest, eight seconds later, he was in and out of consciousness.”

Jeremy was rushed to Gwinnett Medical Center where he later died, according to Larrieu. He had no information on the cause of death.

“He was a phenomenal kid, with a great sense of humor, a loving kid,” said Larrieu, who had coached the 5 foot 11 player for four years.

Nelson's twin sister, Jessica, also plays basketball for Buford’s seventh-grade team. His older sister Kristina, a senior on the Buford High School team recently signed to play with Notre Dame.

“He was just a wonderful kid, said DeMarcus Irons, who coached Nelson when he was 10, and has known him since he was 8 years old. “It’s a big loss. He represented everything good we were trying to do with these kids,” in the league.

In a statement released Sunday afternoon, Buford City Schools Superintendent Dr. Geye Hambry called Nelson a "very kind young man and an excellent student athlete."

"Jeremy had a presence in the hallways and on the court.  He was a young man that always shared kindness with others and one that the students enjoyed being around.  His very pleasant demeanor will be missed by all," Hambry said.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution contributed to this report.