Charlotte HS basketball player collapses, tourney postponed

Wednesday’s Southwestern 4A high school basketball tournament games are being postponed again after a player collapsed during a game on Tuesday.

Rocky River High’s Henry Price fell to the court while his team was playing at Independence High School. The incident happened late in the first half with Rocky River leading Butler, 25-22.

Price was treated by medics for an apparent heart issue with an AED, or automated external defibrillator, on site before he was taken away by ambulance. As of Wednesday afternoon officials did not have an update his condition.

Conference officials initially announced that the Rocky River-Butler game would resume Wednesday, but Independence High athletics director Elijah Ashley — whose school is hosting the tournament — told The Observer that no games would be played Wednesday.

Not playing Wednesday pushes some quarterfinal games to Thursday, meaning the tournament would have to stretch into Saturday.

Ashley said conference officials were reaching out to the N.C. High School Athletic Association to get permission to play the championship games at noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Usually, the tournament finals have to be concluded on Friday because the NCHSAA releases state playoff pairings on Saturday afternoon.

“All of our athletic directors and coaches agreed that we wanted to play,” Ashley said. “Our main focus was the kids in the gym yesterday and making sure they were OK mentally.”

A similar situation happened in an NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football earlier this month when Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin went to make a routine tackle in the first quarter. He took two steps and collapsed.

Hamlin was revived on the field. He was hospitalized, has since recovered and attended Sunday’s Super Bowl. The Bills-Bengals game, however, was never completed.

The updated conference tournament schedule is below.

Southwestern 4A Schedule


Tuesday’s quarterfinals at Independence

East Mecklenburg 73, Garinger 39

Providence (10-12) vs Independence (14-10), ppd.

Rocky River (8-15) vs Butler (17-7), suspended in second quarter, ppd.

Semifinals (dates, time TBD)

Providence-Independence winner vs. Charlotte Catholic (19-5)

Rocky River-Butler winner vs. East Mecklenburg (19-6)


Tentatively Saturday, 2 p.m.


Semifinals (dates, times TBD)

Butler (20-5) vs. Independence (22-2), 3:30

Charlotte Catholic (19-6) vs. East Mecklenburg (5-20), 6:30

Saturday’s finals

Tentatively Saturday, noon

Langston Wertz Jr. is an award-winning sports journalist who has worked at the Observer since 1988. He’s covered everything from Final Fours and NFL to video games and Britney Spears. Wertz — a West Charlotte High and UNC grad — is the rare person who can answer “Charlotte,” when you ask, “What city are you from.”
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