PEARLAND – Students at Dawson High School in Pearland gathered in the parking lot Thursday to remember Falobi Akanbi, who died unexpectedly on Wednesday.
Akanbi, a popular football player and honor student, was playing basketball with friends when he collapsed.
"He was the kid. He was that kid. That kid that everybody wanted to be around," said Joshua Sharp, a friend and teammate.
Many students wore black Thursday in memory of Akanbi.
Akanbi was the son of Nigerian immigrants. One of his goals was to get a college degree without help from his parents.
"We would always talk about college, about where we want to be and how hard we are gonna work to get there," Sharp said.
Akanbi worked his way up from JV as a junior to start this year. He earned a full ride to Montana State to play football.
Coaches and players there are also grieving.
"He was a wonderful young man who captivated everyone he met and had such an incredibly bright future," said Rob Ash, Montana State’s head coach. "This tragedy leaves us without words to properly express our sorrow."
Akanbi’s funeral will be held Friday.
His wasn’t the first death this year for Dawson High School. Two former students and a PTA mother also passed away. The school district says extra counselors will be on as long as they are needed.