Facebook: Anthony W. Crite Sr./MJRA
The Momence High School community is in mourning following the sudden death of a ninth-grade student during a junior varsity basketball game.
Amari Crite, 14, tragically passed away after collapsing on the court on Thursday evening, January 25, 2024.
According to the Daily Journal in Kankakee, Illinois, Amari was playing defense when she unexpectedly collapsed.
The exact cause of her death is still unknown and is currently under investigation by the Kankakee County Coroner’s Office, who stated that the cause of death is pending further study.
Superintendent Shannon Anderson released a statement expressing the profound sorrow felt throughout the school district:
“We are deeply saddened to confirm the heartbreaking news of the passing of one of our 9th-grade students on January 25, 2024. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends affected by this tragic loss.
At this time, we are prioritizing the well-being of our students, staff, and the broader school community. Mental health and counseling support will be available in all buildings on January 26 and as needed in the coming days and weeks to assist those who may be grappling with the emotional impact of this tragedy. We are deeply thankful to neighboring Districts and the mental health and grief counseling providers in the Kankakee County area that have volunteered their services to assist our community during this time.
We understand the interest from the media in covering this story, and we appreciate your sensitivity in approaching this matter. However, we kindly request for the privacy and grieving process of the family and the school community during this difficult time.
Our primary focus right now is on supporting one another and providing the necessary resources for our community to cope with this loss. We ask for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.”
In response to the tragedy, Amari Crite’s family has established a GoFundMe page to assist with funeral expenses. Michelle Crite, the organizer, and a family member shared a heartfelt message: “Our precious baby girl passed away last night January 25 when she collapsed at her basketball game. We are asking for any and everyone to help us give her the proper homegoing she deserves.”
The Momence Junior Redskins Association (MJRA) also paid tribute to Amari: “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the loved ones of the Crite Family as they cope with the loss of a daughter, sister, & friend. We ask that you all keep the family in your thoughts & prayers.”
Source: Momence Junior Redskins Association (MJRA)/Facebook
The Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office joined in offering condolences, stating, “The Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office stands with the Momence School District during this difficult time. Friends, family and classmates are all in our prayers.”
Source: Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook
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