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KU football commitment Andre Maloney passes away after suffering stroke on the field
One minute, he was scoring a touchdown for the Shawnee Mission West High Vikings during a regular high school football game.
The next, he was fighting for his life in a Kansas City-area hospital, a battle that ended Friday evening, according to Shawnee Mission School District and KU officials.
That's what the final 24 hours of life were like for the KU football commitment, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound defensive back who committed to KU this summer and was the sixth-ranked player in Kansas.
Here's the school district release:
It is with great sadness that I share with you that the school district received notification this evening from Research Medical Center that Shawnee Mission West senior Andre Maloney has passed away from complications due to a stroke suffered Thursday night. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andre’s family, teammates, coaches, fellow students, and the SM West staff during this difficult time. The tremendous outpouring of concern expressed today by the our community has been greatly appreciated. We will continue to honor the family’s request this time to respect their privacy.
And here's a statement from KU coach Charlie Weis:
“We are absolutely devastated by the news of the passing of Andre Maloney,” Weis said. “Our hearts are broken at the loss of such an outstanding young man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, especially his mohter, Rosalita. We knew from the moment we met Andre just how special he was and he will never be forgotten. The Jayhawk family will forever hold Andre close to our hearts.”
Maloney's family released a statement earlier Friday explaining what happened and reports indicated that the young man spent much of the day in a vegetative state with no sign of recovery.
"During Thursday night's football game, Shawnee Mission West football player Andre Maloney suffered a stroke," the statement read. "He was transported to an area hospital for evaluation and treatment. He is currently receiving treatment in the intensive care unit at Research Medical Center. While the family greatly appreciates the concern, thoughts, and prayers of family, friends, and the community, they ask that the public and media respect their privacy at this time."
Free State High senior and fellow KU commitment Joe Dineen took to Twitter late Thursday night after hearing about Maloney's situation. KU coach Charlie Weis, who is not allowed to comment on recruits until they sign with Kansas, did the same Friday.
"A young man from a local HS football team was rushed to the hospital last night. Send some prayers his way! Also pray for his family&friends," Weis wrote early Friday afternoon. "Awful news! As a family guy and loving father, there are no words to describe my sorrow! GOD BLESS! Brings perspective to sports' importance."
Wrote Dineen: "There is so much competition in this league and we don't get along when we are playing, but when a player goes down, we come together. #sfl"
Just moments after hearing the news, Dineen wrote further: "Wow. RIP Andre. We had to put two people on him, just so he didn't burn our whole team. What a great player. I'm sure they have a football for you up there."