Tragedy struck North Carolina on Tuesday night when Josh Level, one of the state’s most promising young basketball players, collapsed during a game and died shortly thereafter from unknown circumstances.
As reported by The Greensboro News & Record and Greensville Fox affiliate WGHP, Level, a 17-year-old star for Greensboro (N.C.) New Garden Friends School, collapsed during a timeout break in the third quarter of a game at Winston-Salem (N.C.) Quality Education Academy. While a nurse on hand immediately rushed to Level’s aid, he was never resuscitated and was pronounced dead shortly after being transported to nearby Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
“We called 911 immediately, and a nurse gave him artificial respiration,” Simon Johnson, CEO of Quality Education Academy told the News & Record. “We’re very saddened by what happened.”
Level was considered one of the top prospects in North Carolina’s Class of 2014. The junior had already received scholarship offers from the likes of Oklahoma State and Charlotte and was also being recruited by Wake Forest and North Carolina State, among other top programs. ScoutsFocus National Scouting Director Joe Davis told Prep Rally that Level was easily one of the top 10 players to compete at his Greensboro Invitational event in 2012. You can see Level in action at that event right here.
In an earlier interview with the Wolfpacker’s Jacey Zembal, Level said that he was motivated by his desire to prove those who had overlooked him wrong.
"I've been kind of overlooked and I just want to prove people wrong. That is my motivation,” Level told the Wolfpacker. “It's hard because I'm the middle child of seven, and it's hard to be away from family [at a boarding school]. You have to get it again. You have to do that in college, so I might as well start early."
Sadly, Level will never get that chance now, having passed far too soon while playing the game he loved.
“To play this game, you have to have a lot of heart,” Level said in an interview with the site BallisLife, which you can see below. “It’s a privilege.”