(KTXL) — A Sacramento City College football player died after practice on Monday, according to school officials.
A spokesperson with the college said they don’t know the cause of the student-athlete’s death.
River Delta Unified School District confirmed the football player was Justin McAllister, who graduated from Delta High School in Clarksburg in 2022.
“We at Sacramento City College and the Los Rios Community College District simply cannot imagine the pain that this young man’s family and loved ones dealing with right now,” Sacramento City College said in a statement. “All of our thoughts are with them at this of unthinkable grief.”
Sacramento City players told Nexstar’s KTXL that McAllister collapsed and was unresponsive after a 20-minute conditioning with helmets and no pads. Players said McAllister was struggling a bit, but he told his teammates he would be OK.
After players found out McAllister collapsed, they were told to exit the stadium. Once they were outside, players saw paramedics taking McAllister on a stretcher while giving him CPR.
While no official cause of death is known, players said they were told it was cardiac arrest or some sort of failure.
Players said they learned about McAllister’s death around 7:30 p.m. Later at 11 p.m., dozens gathered at Hughes Stadium for a vigil to get together and show love to the big offensive lineman, who always brought a great smile and attitude to the football field.
River Delta Unified School District released the following statement following McAllister’s death:
Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with his amazing family during this unimaginably devastating time. Justin was held in the highest regard of all of his classmates and our current students at Delta High School. He will be missed deeply by his whole RDUSD family.River Delta Unified School District
A spokesperson from Sacramento City College said there will be grief counseling available for fellow students and teammates on campus.
McAllister’s father, Lloyd McAllister, told KTXL that he and his wife would establish a scholarship in their son’s name at Delta High and at Sacramento City.
“He was a blessing to have in my life,” Lloyd said. “I’m honored to be allowed to be his father.”