— Bob Badders (@Bob_Badders) August 4, 2018
GARDEN CITY, KANSAS — While attempting to better his future via a football scholarship, this player succumbed to an untimely death after fellow athletes found him physically distressed in his dorm room.
According to NJ.com, 19-year-old Braeden Bradforth — native to Neptune Township, New Jersey — had recently accepted a football scholarship to play defensive tackle at Garden City Community College.
On the first day of practice — Wednesday, August 1 — Bradforth reportedly died after experiencing a heart attack. However, the source suggests it wasn’t during the practice, itself.
Rather, team members found him hours later in his dorm room.
Listed as 6-foot, 3-inches — 300 pounds — via his Hudl profile, the source says Bradforth was found “medically distressed” around 9:30 p.m., after a team meeting.
NJ.com reports the teammate found him and contacted coach Jeff Sims. Sims, then, asked a trainer to help. However, the trainer called an ambulance shortly after seeing Bradforth’s condition.
Unfortunately, although he was transported to St. Catherine Hospital, the aspiring player was pronounced dead around 11:30 p.m.
The report states Bradforth died as result of a blood clot disorder near the heart, causing the heart attack.
The family has created a GoFundMe page for funeral expenses. The page exceeded its goal of $7,000, clearing to $9,000. However, the page is no longer accepting donations.
Via the site, the family mentions as follows.
“Braeden will be missed not only by his family but by everyone whose life he touched. He always took great pride in his family, friends, and community, always looking for ways to help others.”
“In dealing with his family you can tell the quality family he came from — our students have used Braeden to inspire themselves to appreciate their families, friends and opportunities that they are fortunate to have in their lives,” Sims tells the source.
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) August 3, 2018
NJ.com also reports that the team has received an outpouring of support since Bradforth’s death. The team’s coach says that he’s actually been called by “hundreds of coaches” across the country.
He was also contacted by the University of Kansas; accordingly, the school wanted to provide assistance as much as possible — well, as far as the NCAA will allow.
Likewise, Legacy Auto, Cornerstone Church, and First Assembly Church also provided funds and services to get Bradforth’s body back to his hometown for the funeral.
“I’m really proud of our community,” Sims tells the source. “There was no way to plan what we were going to do, but people stepped up for us.”
The source reports that team practices were canceled for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to allow Bradforth’s teammates and coaches time to grieve and “just to spend some time together,” as notes Sims.
“We’re just trying to do our best as we go through this. There’s no script…What (Bradforth) did was represent those guys, in that a lot of these guys are coming from across the country, and they’re not coming from million-dollar homes. A lot of them are first-generation college students, and they’re coming here to create a future. That’s why Braeden’s family was so proud of him. He was just trying to create a future for himself with football.”
Football player who died after 1st college practice was gentle giant with 'infectious smile': Braeden Bradforth's family mourned the loss of the stand-out N.J. football player who tragically died immediately after beginning his college career. https://t.co/sWLLVR4gAc
— East Monmouth News (@eastmonmouth) August 8, 2018
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[Featured Photo via Twitter]