Community mourns after Lincoln Elementary basketball coach collapses and dies on the court
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A beloved local basketball coach collapsed on the court and died on the eve of a new season. Now, a message -- and a mystery -- surrounds his death.
Latonya Cain says her 23 year old son died doing what he loved.
"He loved kids and he loved basketball...he helped," Cain said.
"My baby was gone before they took him off the basketball court," she added. "He was gone."
Jordan Cain collapsed Friday during a five-on-five pickup game at the California Community Center. Chauncey Henry was on the same team.
"He had come down and slapped hands and he was smiling," Henry said.
Henry says Jordan had just drained a shot, when something went horribly wrong.
"Jordan just fell motionless," Henry said. "Like he didn't have no bones. He just fell and hit his face on the court. We were all stunned."
"A doctor came in," said Latonya Cain. "I thought he was telling me my son was in surgery, he'll be out in a moment, we're getting him together. He told me my son was dead. He was dead. There was no more Jordan."
The coroner has not found the exact cause of death, but the autopsy showed Cain suffered from an enlarged heart. It's a shock to his family, who says he competed in sports most of his life -- even playing basketball at Shawnee High School.
"It may have been a genetic abnormality, whether it's related to the muscle or the electrical system," said U of L Physicians cardiologist Glenn Hirsch.
Reports say roughly 325,000 people die each year from Sudden Cardiac Failure. Hirsch says young athletes need more screening if the risk is in their family.
Cain's death rocked Lincoln Elementary.
"Several of the students are making sympathy cards for the family," said Susan French, principal of Lincoln Elementary.
Last year, he volunteered to restart the school's basketball team. His passing fell one day before the first game of a new season.
"He really did serve as a role model for our children, talking about not just how to dribble or shoot a basketball, but how to play, and the game of life," French said.
The kids are planning tributes to the late coach for the rest of the season.
"He was fine," Latonya Cain said.
Cain's mother now wants her loss to be a lesson for young athletes.
"Go to the doctor, please," she said. "Because it was just sudden for him...go to the doctor and follow up."
Funeral arrangements are not set yet.
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