Classmates remember student who died unexpectedly in gym class

Virginia teen collapses, dies while playing basketball at high school

FREDERICKSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Fredericksburg is mourning a James Monroe High School student who collapsed during gym class Monday.

Classmates and friends said Tyvihon Kyzier Banks, a sophomore, was vibrant, friendly and never without a kind word for anyone.

“Very energized and happy. Couldn’t find anything down about him at any time,” senior Travis Dawson said. “He always enjoyed being out there. You enjoyed having him around.”

Dawson and Banks were throwers on the track team, competing in shot put and discus.

James Monroe High School principal Dr. Taneshia Rachal sent a letter to parents saying the sophomore collapsed while playing basketball in gym class. Teachers, the school nurse and the Fredericksburg Rescue Squad responded immediately, taking the boy to Mary Washington Hospital, but he sadly didn’t pull through. Rachal also noted that the school’s Crisis Intervention Team was on hand for students, parents and staff members.

Rachal said the incident was “completely unexpected.”

Tyvihon Kyzier Banks.
Tyvihon Kyzier Banks. (Source: GoFundMe)

Students held a moment of silence Wednesday morning and created a memorial inside the school for their friend.

“There have been pictures of him up and everything. People are doing their own thing to remember,” Dawson said. “Everyone’s finding their own way to process the grief."

"He’d go out of his way to be nice. He’s really funny too. He’d love making jokes and making people laugh, and things like that,” classmate Colton Godfery said.

Students are planning a candlelight vigil for Banks in the days to come. A GoFundMe account has been set up to cover the cost of his burial.

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