Shock and sadness swept over the City Honors School community as news spread of the unexpected death Friday of a 10th-grader.
Lamont Yancey, 15, who played on the junior varsity basketball team, collapsed by the court at nearby Masten Park about 4:15 p.m., shortly after going over to the grandstand and complaining about being lightheaded. He was taken by ambulance to Women & Childrens Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“Lamont was the sweetest of spirits, always smiling, polite and a friend to everybody,” City Honors Principal William Kresse said. “My heart goes out to his family, and all those who knew him.”
A vigil is planned at 7 p.m. Sunday on the school’s main steps.
Lamont, who attended Olmsted School 64 before coming to City Honors, had been playing a co-ed pick-up game. Other City Honors students were playing soccer and volleyball at the nearby Johnnie B. Wiley complex. The school’s barbecue picnic fundraiser was about to begin.
“All the descriptions seem to be that Lamont stepped over to the bleachers after feeling lightheaded, and collapsed soon after,” Kresse said.
An employee at the nearby Masten Avenue Armory and a physical education teacher provided assistance before the ambulance came. Hospital staff were unable to revive him.
The cause of death is unknown.
“I called every single family I had a name of who was up there when it happened, and every corner of the city and every nationality was represented, from Riverside to the East Side to the Elmwood Village to South Buffalo. It’s just such a wonderful blend of kids, and they were all friends, and all supportive,” Kresse said.
“Without perhaps realizing it, he was exactly the type of ‘bridge builder’ we hope all of our students will be. We will miss him dearly.”
The school’s students will be offered counseling, as well as spaces to reflect or congregate.
Notes and letters of condolence can also be dropped at the main office for Lamont’s mother, Sherice Bulluck; stepfather, Barry Bulluck; and younger brother Barry, Kresse said.
“Just the other day, I saw Lamont with a brand-new bike,” Kresse said. “He said he got it with his summer work money, and he was just beaming. The bike had extra-wide tires, and I said they looked like sand tires, and we don’t have too many beaches.
“No, Dr. Kresse,” Lamont said, “I’m planning to ride this in the snow as long as the winter lets me.”