SHAWNEE MISSION, Kan. -- A 17-year-old Shawnee Mission West football player died on Friday after he suffered a stroke at a football game Thursday evening.
Star wide receiver Andre Maloney had just made a touchdown, when he stumbled to the sideline and collapsed. At first, many suspected Maloney was dehydrated when he reported feeling light-headed at the and game between Shawnee Mission West and Leavenworth West.
He was taken by ambulance to Research Medical Center in Kansas City on Thursday where it was determined he had suffered a stroke. Maloney underwent surgery to remove a blood clot, but his condition was grave.
"The mood was just really gloomy and then all of the sudden everyone just hit," said S'Naybree Mozee. "You just seen everyone crying. It was crazy. Big shock."
Word spread quickly among friends, classmates and teammates and Friday became a day to remember a young man many considered outstanding.
"Andre is really sweet guy. He had a really good spirit. He never was sad. He was always happy," said Larissa Boyice.
A doctor at Saint Luke's told FOX 4's Robert Townsend that while it seems uncommon for young people to have strokes, it is not as rare as it seems.
"It's not terribly rare. I would say I see a stroke in a young person once a month," said Dr. Coleman Martin.
Andre Maloney had made a commitment to play for the Kansas Jayhawks next year. A twitter account identified as belonging to KU head football coach Charlie Weiss tweeted messages of condolence (See below.)
FOX 4's Al Wallace talked to Andre Maloney last month in the FOX 4 Blue Chip report. See that report here:
Friends had planned a vigil Friday night to honor and remember Maloney, but that has been postponed and is expected to be rescheduled for Sunday.
His family released the following statement.
"During Thursday night’s football game, Shawnee Mission West football player Andre Maloney suffered a stroke. He was transported to an area hospital for evaluation and treatment. He is currently receiving treatment in the intensive care unit at Research Medical Center. While the family greatly appreciates the concern, thoughts, and prayers of family, friends, and the community, they ask that the public and media respect their privacy at this time."