CALIFORNIA, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – A coroner says a western Pennsylvania university student and basketball player found dead in her dorm room in January died of sickle cell trait, not from inhaling chewing gum as police first believed.
Washington County Coroner Tim Warco announced the cause of death Monday for 21-year-old Shanice Clark, of Toronto.
She was found unresponsive at about 3 a.m. Jan. 18 at California University of Pennsylvania and couldn’t be revived at a nearby hospital.
The 6-foot senior forward was redshirting after playing two dozen games for the Vulcans last season. Clark hoped for a career in broadcasting after basketball.
California borough police say a preliminary report from medical personnel indicated that the death appeared to be accidental.
But Warco blamed it on the blood cell disorder which can lead to sudden death in extremely rare cases.
Clarks’s teammates wore her name and number on their warm-up jerseys for a game against Slippery Rock after her passing.
“We all know just how precious life is and if we didn’t know that, we were reminded of it with the passing of Shanice Clark,” Cal U Interim President Geraldine Jones said.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)