College basketball player Shanice Clark died after choking on her chewing gum while asleep, according to a report published by Mirror.
According to CBS Pittsburgh, the Washington-County Coroner’s Office confirmed that the 21-year-old student athlete passed away at 4 a.m.
The report further states that the 21-year-old basketball player was found unresponsive in her apartment, located in Vulcan Village. Clark was transported to the Monongahela Valley Hospital, which is where the student athlete was later pronounced dead.
Clark attended California University of Pennsylvania. As a six-foot-tall forward, the Toronto native was a star of the Vulcans basketball team.
The college senior hoped to start a career in broadcasting after playing basketball.
Clark’s death reportedly shocked many of the students and faculty members. Even though he did not know Shanice Clark personally, senior Greg London admitted in an interview with CBS Pittsburgh that he was still shocked because Clark seemed like the type of person that did everything right when she was alive.
“Even though I didn’t know her, I didn’t know how to take it because it’s just someone that seems like they’re – everything they’re doing right. She didn’t seem like she was one of those people who was going out ruining themselves going out drinking and stuff like that like it was just a typical accident.”
London continued by expressing his shock over fact that something as small as chewing gum could take a person’s life.
Freshman Sasha Jett reflected on the death of Shanice Clark as a reminder that life is short, as well as a life lesson to live every day to the fullest.
“You have to cherish it. You can’t really go without cherishing every day. You just have to make every day like it’s your last and she had a good future ahead of her and she’s just kind of gone now. It’s really unexpected.”
Dr. Karen Hjerpe, the school’s athletic director, released an official statement on the team’s website in reference to the death of their star basketball player.
“Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family and friends of Shanice Clark. Shanice was a bright student and talented player. Her smile and personality will be missed.”
An autopsy was conducted on Shanice Monday.
NBC Philadelphia reports that the coroner did not release the results immediately. However, local police confirmed that medical personnel indicated Shanice Clark did aspirate her chewing gum while the young basketball star was still sleeping.