Grafton student, 'amazing young man' died after collapse at basketball practice
Cody Holyoke reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
GRAFTON - A principal who saw one of his school's students and basketball players on a regular basis described "an amazing young man" on the day after he died following a collapse at basketball practice.
"He had one of the biggest smiles that any kid ever had in high school," said Ken McCormick, the principal of Grafton High School, after Josh Davis-Joiner collapsed at basketball practice and died at a hospital a short time later.
"It was impossible not to smile whenever you talked to Josh. We were blessed to have him in our building....a tragic and terrible loss."
The principal explained to Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jon Byman that they had extra counselors working on Tuesday to assist students who needed help in the grieving process.
"Local members of the clergy have come to support the students. We have students who need to have an area in the building to go where they can talk with some adults to help them through their grief. We also have a book of note cards, where kids can write note cards to Josh that we'll present to his family."
McCormick said he was in the building Monday when Davis-Joiner collapsed in front of his boys basketball teammates, shortly after the girls team ended their practice.
"Coach (Kevin) McKenna came in rather upset, and told me a student had collapsed," explained McCormick.
"We had a nurse with us, and the two of us went down to the gymnasium, where Josh was on the floor."
According to McCormick, CPR and an on-site defibrillator (AED) were both used on Davis-Joiner in the gym, and crews called 9-1-1.
"We were several blocks from the hospital. He got there as quick as could be, but unfortunately, he passed away in the hospital."
McCormick told Byman that his family was at the gym as well.
"(They're doing) as can be expected. They lost their son. They were in an awful emotional strait, but they were gracious in helping our students understand what was happening...and deal with their grief as they were dealing with their own grief. They were a tremendous support to our kids."
He also said that the boys basketball season would go forward as scheduled.
"Josh loved playing basketball. He played basketball extremely hard. He was a great teammate, a great friend. We will honor that hard work."