Community honors Olympic High basketball player

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Friends gathered at Olympic High School in Charlotte to remember a 15-year-old high school athlete who suddenly died over the weekend.

Dozens of people gathered Thursday night at a vigil to celebrate the life of Aaron Barker who died after coming home from practice on Saturday.

The vigil wasn't about mourning a loss, but to celebrate Barker’s life and the memories friends shared with him.

His mother told Channel 9 that Aaron had come home from practice and went to take a shower. She said that when she checked on him, he was unresponsive.

His mother said Aaron was an organ donor, but his heart is being examined to determine what caused his death.

There was also a tribute Wednesday night for Barker during Olympic High School's game against Ardery Kell.

Jernel Sanders, a former coach of Aaron's, said he's at a loss of words over the untimely death.

"We don't know what happened, he just sudden, suddenly died. It's just, like, heartbreaking," Sanders said.

Sanders said Aaron liked to play center, and at 6 feet 4 inches, he was built for it.

"He was just a physical specimen," Sanders said. "The sky was the limit for that kid. I mean, he always worked hard, wanted to do better, wanted to be better."

Aaron's family said he loved math, listening to music and hanging out with his friends.

Family members and coaches said his teammates came together for a pickup basketball game Sunday in Aaron's honor. A few of his old brothers showed up wearing commemorative t-shirts showing support for Aaron.

She said family and friends from as far away as South Africa have contacted her to offer their condolences.

Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com: