Eighth-grade student dies trying out for basketball team

SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS/TV) – A 13-year-old girl in South Carolina died from a sudden heart attack while trying out for the basketball team.

The Sumter School District says Tiffany Cleckley developed a headache while warming up during Tuesday's team tryouts. She went to the school's main office, where she collapsed and attempts to revive her began immediately.

"A nurse was on hand," said Sumter School District Spokeswoman, Shelly Galloway. "The assistant coach was with the student as well, she is also trained to administer CPR and the defibrillator. All of our coaches are trained to use our equipment."

An ambulance rushed Tiffany  to Tuomey Hospital, but she never recovered. At the school, students and staff were still working out their grief.

"Shock and disbelief," Galloway said. "The school is very small and so together they've been you know, writing letters to the family, discussing their feelings. Counselors are on hand to do one-on-one counseling with the students.

Sumter County Coroner Harvin Bullock says an autopsy determined Tiffany died of a heart attack. It's not clear yet whether other issues contributed to the heart failure. The school's principal issued a statement offering prayers and sympathies to the girl's family. The statement calls Tiffany a very special part of the Mayewood family.

The teen had passed the required physical to make the school's basketball team.

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