21-year-old basketball star found dead in her dorm room after choking on gum in sleep

A college basketball star has been found dead in her dorm room after choking on gum in her sleep, preliminary investigations have found.

Shanice Clark, from Toronto, Canada, was found unresponsive at 3.03am on Sunday in Vulcan Village at the California University of Pennsylvania, the Washington County coroner’s office said.

She was rushed to Monongahela Valley Hospital but she could not be revived and was pronounced dead at 4.10am.

Police said a preliminary report from medical personnel indicates Clark accidentally choked on gum while she was sleeping, the Pennsylvania Observer-Reporter reported.

The manner of death continues to remain under investigation.

University officials said they were ‘deeply saddened’ by the death of the 6-foot senior forward, who had played two dozen games for the Vulcans last season.

Athletic director Karen Hjerpe called Clark ‘a bright student and talented player’ and said ‘her smile and personality will be missed’.

Clark, a communications major, had hoped to become a broadcaster and chose the school because of its good facilities after transferring from Santa Fe College in Florida.

But friend Cleveland Clunis told the Toronto Star that she would often joke that she had gone to the university for a different reason.

‘For Shanice, it was, “There’s a good hairstylist”,’ said Clunis, the founder of a non-profit basketball program she had attended. ‘When she shares that with you, you can’t help but laugh.’

He said that this sense of humor had made her popular among students and staff.

‘She could start a conversation with you from morning and still have you laughing and interested till sundown,’ he said.

Geraldine M. Jones, interim university president, said in a statement: ‘Our thoughts today are with the family of Shanice Clark, a senior from Ontario, Canada, who passed away early this morning.

‘On behalf of California University of Pennsylvania, I extend my deepest sympathy to all of Shanice’s family and friends. She will be missed by her teammates and coaches, her classmates, and by the entire campus community.’

Clark leaves behind her mother, Kashaeka Fearon, and a younger sister.

Source: The DailyMail

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