Aspen hoops camp death saddens communities
July 20, 2011
ASPEN – Two communities separated by some 1,700 miles are feeling the repercussions from the death of a Canadian teen who was attending a basketball camp in Aspen.
The circumstances surrounding the passing of 16-year-old Toronto resident Quinn Evering, who collapsed on the court at Aspen High School on Monday and later was pronounced dead at Aspen Valley Hospital, remain uncertain. Results of Tuesday’s autopsy, performed in Grand Junction, were inconclusive, according to a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Toxicological and microbiological tests will be conducted, but answers are not expected for a couple of weeks, the release stated. No suspicious circumstances are being considered as part of the investigation.
“My heart truly goes out to the family of this young man. … It’s very sad,” Steve Ketchum, director of the Aspen Basketball Academy, wrote in an email to The Aspen Times on Tuesday. “He seemed like a wonderful young man.”
While the Academy’s senior session, for boys in sixth through 12th grades, had just started Monday, Ketchum said Evering’s “cheerful personality and his great smile” instantly made him stand out.
A family friend who answered the phone at the Toronto residence of Evering’s mother, Molly, on Tuesday described the 6-foot-5 young man as quiet, humble, loyal and accomplished both on and off the court.
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“He was very pleasant to be around, very respectful,” Mark Moore said. “He was very loving.”
“He could do almost anything. He was a talented kid, it wasn’t just about sports,” Evering’s aunt, Lorraine Evering, told The News and Mail of Toronto. “He was good at saxophone, he was good with his hands, he built all sorts of model cars and bikes and things like that.”
Evering and his mother, a single parent, shared a unique bond, Moore said. Inspired by her love of the saxophone, the son learned how to play the instrument and recorded himself playing some of her favorite songs, according to an article in The News and Mail.
“Basically, they were almost like brother and sister. Whenever you saw one, you’d see the other – they did things together all the time,” Moore said. “He was very excited [to travel to Aspen], but I don’t think Mom was too excited because her baby was leaving.”
The younger Evering, who was to be a junior at Toronto’s Jarvis Collegiate Institute in the fall, was taking part in a passing drill Monday afternoon when he collapsed. Coaches responded immediately and administered CPR and dialed 911 approximately 2:55 p.m., according to an Academy news release.
Paramedics from Aspen Ambulance, officers from the Aspen Police Department and deputies from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call, and Evering was transported to AVH.
Resuscitation attempts proved unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 4:12 p.m.
Campers and coaches received the news about 6 p.m.
“You hear about this stuff all the time about other people in other places and never think it will happen,” Ketchum said. “Then it does.”
Camp continued as scheduled Tuesday and concludes Thursday.
“We are trying the best we can to continue to put on a great camp for the other 130 campers that are here, despite what happened. … We have to focus on them and take care of them,” the coach wrote.
“That’s the challenge, but they deserve that.”