Middle school student's sudden death shakes community

by: Eric Philips Updated:

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JEFFERSON, S.C. - Family and classmates are searching for answers after a middle school student died Monday hours after a basketball game in Chesterfield County.

Fourteen-year-old Montreal Chambers was a student at New Heights Middle School in Jefferson, S.C. He collapsed at Pageland Community Center Monday around 8 p.m. Those at the center said Montreal was playing in a basketball game for about three minutes when his chest started hurting.

He sat down and shortly after that collapsed, prompting those around him to call 911. An ambulance rushed Montreal to Carolinas Medical Center Union where he was pronounced dead.

Pageland’s Police Chief Larry Brown knew Montreal all of his life.

“A community like this, a close-knit community, it’s hard to accept a person like that leaving us at a young age,” said Brown.

Chambers’ family did not want to talk on camera, but they told Eyewitness News they do not understand because he did not have any known health conditions.

He also ran track at the local high school. His family is waiting on an autopsy to provide some answers.

Meanwhile school officials said there were extra counselors on hand Tuesday to help students, staff, and parents deal with this loss.

“I coach football and softball. Hate to hear it; (he was a) young kid had a lot going for him,” said one middle school parent.

Students at New Heights Middle School have also already painted a fitting memorial to the young athlete.