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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 1:29 p.m., Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Kea'au basketball player dies after practice

Associated Press

KEAAU, Hawai'i — A 16-year-old Kea'au High basketball player collapsed and died yesterday after his team’s practice.

Austin Meyers, a junior on the varsity basketball team, went into cardiac arrest after the two-hour practice, fire officials said. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead yesterday afternoon at Hilo Medical Center.

Coach Wade Ishibashi said he was briefing his team on an upcoming tournament when Meyers was spotted in distress.

"I saw him shaking like he was having a seizure," Ishibashi said.

The coach said Meyers’ performance during the practice was his best ever.

Kea'au students are on a three-week break and aren’t due to return to school until Jan. 13. But news of Meyers’ death hit students hard as it made its way to teammates and classmates.

"The players are shocked, stunned, depressed, a little of everything you can think of," said Ishibashi.

Meyers, the youngest of three brothers, was also quarterback of Kea'au High’s football team. Those who knew him continually mention the teen’s smile.

"He would smile and his eyes would just sparkle," said his mother, Sue Meyers. "He was a happy child."

Ishibashi said his team would meet today morning to decide whether they wanted to participate in the Punahou preseason tournament, which begins tomorrow.

"I’ll never forget his smile," Ishibashi said. "It’s a sad, sad story."