A Rutgers University freshman collapsed and died while playing basketball on Sunday, MyCentralJersey.com reported.
Patrick Awosogba, 18, was playing basketball with friends until he collapsed. His family suspects hypertrophic cardiomyopathy— an enlarged heart— may have played a role in his death, his sister, Temipope, a resident physician in Boston, told NJ Advance Media.
According to a university spokesman, police said there is no indication of foul play.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is known as a “silent killer” because it often goes undiagnosed; it can lead to life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms as the heart muscle becoming dangerously thick.
Awosogba, known as “BJ” to his high school classmates and friends, was a well-loved, popular student-athlete from a loving family, Andy Steinfeld, a physical-education teacher who coached him for more than four years in recreational baseball leagues, told MyCentralJersey.com. Awosogba was a member of the East Brunswick High School’s varsity baseball team.
"The kid was top-notch and everybody loved him," Steinfeld said. "I know the kids that played with him on the high school team and the team that I coached are devastated, and they are trying to find some answers on why something like this happens to a young kid. It's tragic."
"I can't say a negative thing about him," East Brunswick head baseball coach Chris Kenney told the news website.
Awosogba was scheduled to graduate from Rutgers in 2018; he had not declared a major.
According to MyCentralJersey.com, news of his passing came hours before a bill to help recognize and prevent cardiac illnesses in any person age 19 and under was sent to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to be signed into law.