Red Bank Regional High School Remembers Basketball Player [AUDIO]
It's been a surreal twenty four hours in Red Bank Regional High School following the death of varsity basketball player Albert Martin during a scrimmage Monday night.
Albert Martin, 17, from Red Bank, collapsed Monday evening during a game against Point Beach and was pronounced dead at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank moments later. An autopsy was conducted Tuesday by the Monmouth County Medical Examiner, however test results won't be known for several days according to Rich Incremona, spokesman from the Prosecutors Office.
Martin's coaches and classmates said he didn't suffer from any known health issues, and they puzzled how the seemingly healthy senior for the Red Bank Regional Buccaneers passed away so suddenly.
According to RBR Boys' Basketball Coach Scott Martin, at 6 foot 3 inches and 220 pounds, Albert Martin was a very talented young player for whom college basketball was in the future. Coach Martin recounts the senior's last words.
"We brought our hands in, and every single time it's 'one…two…three..Bucs'. It's the last thing he said."
Red Bank Regional Superintendent Jim Stefankiewicz says counselors from the school's guidance department and youth based services program have be made available for students, staff, and families. The tragedy of suddenly losing a student is painfully familiar for the high school. In September, 18 year old senior Riyadh'Na Farrow, also of Red Bank, was found dead in her home from natural causes.
Coach Martin said Albert, who was the only senior on the team, played six minutes during the scrimmage Monday night, but was taken out of the game during the first quarter for other players to be on the court. After a losing first quarter without Martin, the senior and three other players were told to get back into the game.
"As we broke from the huddle, I turned around and looked at Albert as he was backing up and like slow motion I saw his eyes roll back into his head a little bit. I thought something's wrong, something's not right, and the next thing I know he collapsed."
Many students are still in shock by the sudden death of the senior. Martin is fondly remembered for his kind personality and warm smile that often overshadowed his massive size.
Girls' Basketball Coach James Young served as Albert's mentor and says the senior's kindness is what he will remember most.
"Albert was someone when he smiled he could light the room up. It didn't matter what kind of day you were having, it didn't matter if your day was the worst day."
"Albert as a person was a teddy bear that everyone wanted by their side," says Senior Kadyjah Smith.
As the lone senior, Martin was also tasked with the responsibility of being the role model and leader for fellow team members. A position the shy young man stepped into. Teammate Corey Martin remembers his experiences coming into the team as freshman when Albert Martin was a sophomore.
"He really helped the transition from middle school to high school with the freshman. He wasn't even an upper classmen at the time but he still helped. "
Garrett Sickels, a lifelong friend of Albert, remembers him as "the guy you want to be friends with."