Basketball player chokes on gum, dies in sleep

The cause and manner of death are still under investigation

(CNN) – Chewing gum may have played a role in the death of a student-athlete at the California university of Pennsylvania. Students are surprised by the loss of the 21-year-old women’s basketball player.

The California University basketball website shows action photos of 21-year-old senior Shanice Clark from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She hoped for a career in broadcasting after basketball. But over the weekend she was found unresponsive in her off-campus apartment. She died at Mon Valley Hospital. A preliminary report from medical personnel is that she choked on chewing gum while she slept.

On campus, students were stunned knowing that a student-athlete, with the world in front of her, was cut down so suddenly.  It was hard for some to wrap their heads around it.

Senior Greg London said, “I heard about it the same way that most people did. I got the email and checked it at around noon time and the reaction that I had is that I personally didn’t know her or know how to take it.”

Freshman Nate Connolly said, “I was shocked at first to hear about someone close by passing away, and just it’s hard to comprehend that something like that could happen.”

For some there were lessons learned beyond the textbook.

Freshman Sasha Jett said, “Life is just too short, you have to cherish it. You can’t really go without cherish it every day and make every day like it’s your last. She had a good future ahead of her and now she’s just gone now.”

The Washington County coroner says the cause and manner of death are still under investigation.

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