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Lexington High School Suffers Loss of Student-Athlete

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School via Facebook

Students, teachers, and staff at a Lexington high school are mourning the sudden unexplained death of a student athlete. Star Ifeacho died shortly after coming off the basketball court at Dunbar High School Wednesday.


Basketball Coach Scott Chalk says Ifeacho had complained of being light-headed and was in the training room with the trainer when the medical issue occurred. The coach praised the trainer and other students for administering immediate care. In addition to team members, Chalk says the sophomore was well-liked by students not associated with sports.


Chalks said, “A lot of times when people pass, people say this about him, but he was extremely well liked around school. He touched so many different groups of people because he was just a really upbeat, personable, smiley kind of person that people really responded to.”


School psychologist Mackenzie Leachman says some 200 students at the beginning of the school day Wednesday responded to services offered by grief counselors. A therapy dog was brought to the school. She said some students just want to do something.


Leachman said, “They want to help. They want to sing. They want to write a letter to the family and tell them how sorry they are. Helping students to be able to express themselves and guide them in how they can do that and can make lists of thoughts and actions that they would like to take, is very healthy.”


Two other 15-year-old Lexington students, Trinity Gay and Robert Durrum, died during this school year. Both Gay and Durrum were fatally shot. Leachman says these losses are not something students get used to. The psychologist says it’s difficult any time there is an unexpected event or a change in day-to-day reality.


A vigil remembering Ifeacho is planned Monday night at the Fayette County school. The cause of death has not been determined.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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