The King George High School basketball player who collapsed in December died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—an enlarged heart muscle, according to the Virginia medical examiner's office.
A.J. Gibson, 16, had no previous health issues and had passed a required sports physical, his coaches told The Free Lance–Star. According to the Mayo Clinic, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy often goes undiagnosed because many individuals experience no or few symptoms. An echocardiogram can identify the abnormally-thick muscle.
Gibson was sitting on the bench during a Dec. 3 contest at Brooke Point High School when he collapsed and stiffened, witnesses said at the time. Members of the Stafford County rescue squad responded, but he was pronounced dead that evening.
A week later, King George held a memorial upon returning to the court for the first time. The team sold #AllforAJ T-shirts at the gate, with all proceeds going to Gibson's family.
At halftime, Foxes Athletic Director Alex Fisher presented Gibson's mother Myra Frye with a photo collage, the gift typically reserved for senior night.