On Tuesday night (February 8th), the Alto Yellowjackets were in the midst of a basketball game at home against the team from Mount Enterprise. According to local reports, sophomore DeVonte Mumphrey collapsed on the court during a play due to a medical emergency and was unresponsive. His death was confirmed later by the Alto Independent School District in a Facebook post. “Alto ISD experienced the tragic loss of a student-athlete during tonight’s home basketball game,” it began. “Out of respect for the family and in light of student privacy obligations, the district cannot provide details at this time. During the coming days and weeks, we will provide our students, staff, and community the support needed to process this tragedy. Grief counselors and local pastors will be on-site in the cafeteria starting at 7:15 a.m., tomorrow morning. All of ISD sends its deepest condolences to the student’s family. Please keep our community in your prayers.”
Mumphrey was a rising star on the court, being recently nominated to win the Dave Campbell’s Mr. Texas Basketball weekly award in January after a 45-point performance against New Summerfield. He was also named the District 22-A Newcomer of the Year during his freshman season. Mumprhey also
The tragedy re-opened fresh wounds for the East Texas community, as football player Cam’rom Matthews died on the sideline during a football game in October 2015. In speaking with local news outlet KENS5, his father Ronnie Matthews spoke about the loss in 2016. “It’s still hard because going on a year without our son is something we never thought we’d make it through,” he said. But he and his family found solace in remembering how good he was, and how his passing led to the saving of six lives due to his organs being donated – including that of his grandfather. “To meet everybody and to see just how thankful they are, it’s really touching to us,” Mr. Matthews said afterward.