ambulance lights

A King George High School basketball player died after suffering a health  emergency during a game at Brooke Point High School Tuesday night, school officials confirmed Wednesday.

King George County Superintendent Robert Benson released a statement on Instagram early Wednesday morning saying, "It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our beloved King George High School student, A.J. Gibson.”

The boys basketball game at the Stafford County school was halted in the second quarter Tuesday night  after Gibson became ill. King George administrators declined to provide further details about the 16-year-old junior's death.

Benson’s statement said grief counselors were on hand when A.J.’s teammates arrived back to school and were informed of his death. Counselors were also on hand this morning when A.J.’s classmates arrived.

King George athletic director Alex Fisher said A.J. was a first-year varsity player who was a standout on the junior varsity as a sophomore.

“It’s obviously a somber time,” Fisher said. “It just goes to show how much he was liked here.”

Fisher said King George has postponed Thursday’s contest against Stafford High School and would determine later what to do with other games on its schedule. Brooke Point cheerleaders planned to wear King George colors, blue and gold, to school today in support of the Foxes.

Benson’s statement said A.J.’s “enthusiasm, athleticism and close friendships made him an important and respected member of our school and community.” The superintendent stressed the need for King George’s staff and students to support each other during this time.

“He was a smile-all-the-time kid,” Fisher said. “The coaches respected him. He was a hard worker. He was fun to be around. He was a good kid.”

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Taft Coghill Jr.: 540.374.5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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