Shawnee Mission West High School wide receiver Andre Maloney hauled in a pass and sprinted untouched to the end zone for a 63-yard touchdown during a Thursday night game in Kansas City, Mo.
Maloney celebrated his touchdown then jogged back to his sideline, became disoriented and subsequently collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors discovered that he had a blood clot in his brain.
Maloney was announced dead Friday night after suffering a stroke during Shawnee Mission’s Thursday night game. Strokes are usually associated with elderly adults, but can happen to anyone at any given time.
“Strokes are more common in young people than you might think,” said neurologist Coleman Martin of St. Luke’s Hospital’s Neuroscience Institute.
There has been no explanation as to what caused Maloney to have a stroke that cost him his life. Sometimes, events like these never have an explanation. There are things that happen to good people every day that are simply gut-wrenching.
“It’s shocking to me because you never expected something like that to happen to Andre,” said Kez Demby, a former teammate of Maloney’s. “When people see Andre Maloney, they think football. The thing that stood out to me was his goofy smile. Anytime he was smiling, you just had to smile too.”
Maloney was an athletic specimen who worked hard to put himself in position to succeed after high school. He was a four-star recruit and was committed to play football at Kansas next fall.
“He was so fast,” Athletic Director Don Perkins said. “I can only think of one time he was every overthrown on a pass.”
It is hard to imagine something so tragic would happen to an individual that touched so many people on and off the field, but it serves as a reminder to all. There are just some things that can’t be explained.
Many use sayings such as “life is too short” or “you only live once” to justify rather pathetic decisions. However, Maloney’s story gives light to the true meaning of these sayings.
They are meant to serve as a reminder as to why people should strive to make the most out of every moment they are given in this world because nobody is guaranteed a tomorrow.