Navy football player Will McKamey dies after collapsing

Navy football player Will McKamey dies after collapsing

Credit: USA Today

Navy football player Will McKamey, who was hospitalized after collapsing at practice three days ago, has died while in a coma. He was 19.

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Associated Press

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 26 at 3:56 PM

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Navy football player Will McKamey, who was hospitalized after collapsing at practice three days ago, has died while in a coma. He was 19.

The Naval Academy says the freshman running back from Knoxville, Tenn., died Tuesday at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with his family by his side.

"We are all so very heartbroken by the death of Midshipman Will McKamey," Naval Academy superintendent Vice Adm. Mike Miller said in a statement. "This is devastating news for his family, his classmates, his teammates and the entire Naval Academy family. We offer our deepest condolences to Will's family, friends and shipmates in the wake of this tragedy."

McKamey collapsed during spring practice Saturday and was airlifted to the Shock Trauma Center.

Earlier this week, McKamey's family said in a statement released through the school that their son did not sustain "a bad hit or unusual or extreme contact" in that practice.

"The Navy coaches have poured through the films of practice and seen nothing more than Will carrying the football normally, doing what he truly loves," the family said.

McKamey's father, Randy, a high school football coach at Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville, posted on Twitter that his son underwent surgery Saturday to relieve pressure on the brain.

Will McKamey played for his father and ran for more than 2,000 yards as a senior at Grace Christian in 2012. He suffered a head injury during a game late in the season that caused him to be hospitalized.

His family said he had been cleared to resume playing football after seeing four neurosurgeons and undergoing several CAT scans and MRI exams.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound McKamey did not play in a game last season. He was an oceanography major in 3rd Company at the Naval Academy.

"During this most difficult of times, first and foremost, our prayers and thoughts turn to Randy, Kara and their beautiful family," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "Our deepest and most sincere condolences go out to their entire family and friends. As our Navy football family mourns the loss of one of our brothers, we also celebrate and honor his life. He loved his family, his friends and his teammates. The Brotherhood loves you! Keep the ball 'high and tight' in Heaven."

Navy said funeral arrangements are pending.

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