Oklahoma State University basketball player Tyrek Coger, a junior college transfer from Cape Fear Community College in North Carolina, died Thursday evening following a workout.
The 21-year-old junior from Raleigh, North Carolina, collapsed after a team workout, according to an OSU press release.
The school said Coger, who arrived on the OSU campus on July 5, was transported to Stillwater Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m.
According to the Stillwater News-Press, a call came in to 911 dispatch at about 5:30 p.m. reporting that a man had collapsed on the stairs of Boone Pickens Stadium from heat exhaustion.
First-year basketball coach Brad Underwood, who was traveling back from a recruiting trip in Las Vegas, said he was devastated by Coger’s death.
“Tyrek was excited to be at Oklahoma State and had such passion for the game and was looking forward to being an OSU Cowboy,” Underwood said in the press release. “Losing a member of the team is like losing a member of the family. But we know our loss pales in comparison to the pain his family is going through.”
Coger, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward originally signed with Ole Miss, but a Southeastern Conference technicality prevented him from coming.
Last season at Cape Fear, he averaged 12.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
“He’s another piece to the puzzle, and he’s a piece that we haven’t had or don’t have,” Underwood said June 29 during a Big 12 coaches media call. “He brings some physicality, he’s got legit size in terms of not just height at 6-9 but he’s 250 pounds, and he’s a guy that has a great skill set.
“But along with that, he gives us some age, some maturity, just in terms of he’s not an 18-year-old freshman that’s still learning the ropes. He’s got college basketball experience, he’s got games under his belt. Those are all things that were vital to our frontcourt.”
Former OSU coach Travis Ford posted his thoughts on Twitter just before 10 p.m. Thursday.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Oklahoma State University Family…my heart and deepest sympathy go out to the Coger Family!” Ford wrote.