A 17-year-old high school football player, Ali Muhammad, died in his sleep on Thursday, according to a statement posted by his team on Twitter.
“It is with great sadness, and a heavy heart, that we are sharing the unfortunate passing of Rahway Senior football player, Ali Muhamad. Our hearts go out to the family during this tough time. You will forever be in our thoughts.”
Ali Muhammad was found dead on Thursday morning by his father, Percy Lamont Brown, while he was trying to wake him up for school, according to NJ.com:
Assistant Coach Mike Kuchar retweeted a post from Ali’s father, adding, “Lost a brother today. We will be playing for him, his family, and everything he represented tomorrow night.”
“I am grieving, my son is passed away, Ali Muhammad, gone way too soon.”, his father posted on Twitter.
There is still no information regarding the cause of Ali’s death.
Ali Muhammad is not being remembered today as Rahway’s backup center, but rather the scout team’s invaluable starter at that position at every practice.
The Indians will be remembering Ali’s dependable work rate and also his quiet, unassuming demeanor away from the field when they roll into Jersey City tonight (Friday) for a 7 p.m. game against Lincoln.
Ali Muhammad apparently died in his sleep some time Thursday morning at his home. His father, Percy Lamont Brown, found his 17-year-old son dead as he tried to wake him for school. No details have yet been announced concerning a service.
“When you hear something like this, it’s just devastating. I couldn’t imagine being in that father’s shoes right now,” Russo said. “It’s something you never think you’re going to experience.”
Ali, who would have turned 18 next month, was his hard-working self at Wednesday’s practice, showing no sign of injury or discomfort, according to both Russo and Kuchar. Ali was a four-year member of the football team and also played on Rahway’s JV baseball team.
From Yahoo News:
Head coach Brian Russo said the team wanted to play Friday’s 7 p.m. game at Lincoln High School in Jersey City.
“We obviously didn’t practice yesterday and we came back and we met for dinner last night,” Russo said early Friday afternoon. “We told them, obviously, if you feel uncomfortable playing the game we expect to cancel, but the kids really wanted to play.
“So we’ll go out there, we’re going to do our best and keep him in our hearts and prays. All our thoughts, especially as a staff, are with his family. We all have children and when you think about something like that, man, it’s just unconscionable.”
Russo didn’t have any additional details about Muhammad’s passing.
“All the players and the whole football family and the whole football community,” he said, “we’re all mourning now and our hearts and our thoughts are with his family.”
Assistant coach Mike Kuchar retweeted a Facebook post from Percy Lamont Brown that said, “I am in grieving, my son is passed away, Ali Muhammad, gone way too soon.”