Jeremy Nelson, 12, became the latest Buford, Ga., athlete to die while doing what he loved: playing basketball.

Jeremy had been playing with other seventh-graders as part of the Gwinnett Basketball League on Saturday night at the Suwanee Sports Academy when he collapsed at about 9 p.m. He died shortly after at Gwinnett Medical Center.

His father, Herb Nelson, spoke to CBS Atlanta outside of the family’s home, which was packed with supporters on Sunday night. He said his son was 5 feet 11 inches tall and wore a size 14 shoe – and that he had hoped to see him continue to grow into a skilled basketball player.

“This time yesterday we were cheering him on at the game,” Nelson said. “You never – you never expect to leave home and come back without him.”

Nelson said his son received annual physicals, which are required to play many sports, and that he had no known health problems.

“We don’t know what it is yet, so once we find out – we don’t want healthy kids running up and down the basketball court and dying,” Nelson said.

Just down the street from Jeremy’s home lives the family of Adam Smith, a Buford High School junior who collapsed in October. He had been training on the school’s football field as part of his basketball training and died days later. Last January, Buford High School football coach Ryan Daniel had been playing basketball before school began and collapsed and died.

Nelson said his faith is helping Jeremy’s mother, twin sister and older sister through this difficult time.

Read more: CBS Atlanta



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