Brandon Sterling died while playing basketball during a pickup game on Sunday in Morgan City, according to his mother Darnisha Sterling. He was 18.
Sterling was a senior at Assumption High School in Napoleonville where he played basketball and football. He was playing basketball with friends when he suddenly collapsed and hit the back of his head on the court at the Jimmie Johnson Memorial Park in Morgan City, his mother said.
“They said he hit his head on the concrete and he started to seizure,” Darnisha said. “They said he was shaking real bad.”
Darnisha said her son remained on the court for "up to 30 minutes" after collapsing. Once an ambulance arrived, he was taken to Ochsner St. Mary hospital in Morgan City, where he was pronounced dead.
Darnisha said she is still seeking answers on how her son died. She said he had no pre-existing medical conditions and the cause of death is unknown. The family is waiting for autopsy results from a medical examiner.
“He was a healthy child," Darnisha said. "He was so active. I don’t know what happened. They never told me what happened to my baby.”
Morgan City police captain Betty Augman said Sterling's death is still under investigation.
"We are doing our due diligence to the young man and family to investigate what happened," Augman said. "We don't suspect any foul play. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this time."
A representative from 911 emergency center in Morgan City said they could not release any information regarding the 911 call and that any information would come from the police department once the investigation is completed.
Darnisha said Brandon’s death has hit his entire family hard, especially since he was getting ready to graduate from Assumption. While he played sports, Brandon loved playing videos games and making TikTok videos. He planned to follow in his mother's footsteps by attending Nicholls to major in nursing starting in August. He was the oldest of her three sons.
“He was the best kid,” Darnisha said. “He was the most respectful child. My baby was spectacular. He was a humble and handsome boy. He was a jack of all trades who was good at basketball and football. He could dance. He was good at everything.
"I never heard anyone say a bad word about him. He stayed out of trouble and looked after his brothers. I appreciate everybody that has been reaching out to me. It’s good to know how loved my baby was ... I just want my baby back."
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Brendon Sterling said his brother was a major inspiration for he and his younger brother, Dwayne McZeal Jr.
“My brother was a legend,” Brendon Sterling said. “He was a father-figure for me and my brother. He taught me and my brother everything about life. He didn’t hate anyone. He loved everybody.”
Brandon played basketball for one season at Assumption, averaging six points per game and eight rebounds. He played in the Luke Ford Jr. Sports Medicine Center of Thibodaux Regional Bayou vs. River All Star Basketball Shootout on March 26.
Assumption basketball coach Henry Hollins said Brandon was an exceptional athlete but a better young man.
“He was a great student, very intelligent and kind,” Hollins said. “He was very coachable and whatever you needed him to do he would go out and give it his all to do what was needed. He had a great relationship with everyone he came into contact with and he was very respectful. Brandon will be missed by everyone and we are all praying for his family and friends.”
Assumption principal Jessica Thibodeaux said Brandon was going to be a TOPS University graduate in May. She is planning to honor him at Assumption's graduation this year.
“Brandon was an amazing young man,” Thibodeaux said. “He was a great student athlete. He worked hard at everything he did. He was just a great quiet kid who was a role model for others.”
Reach Chris Singleton at 985-857-2213 or firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @courierchris.
This article originally appeared on The Courier: Brandon Sterling dies after collapsing while playing pickup basketball