Atlanta Fire: Player Who Died Had Abnormal Heart Artery has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


A 16-year-old who collapsed and died during soccer practice Saturday had an abnormal artery in his heart, officials with Atlanta Fire United Soccer Club said Wednesday.

Michael Jones of Gwinnett County was practicing with the club when he collapsed suddenly, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

Coach Justin Mathews performed CPR until the ambulance arrived, but Jones was pronounced dead at the hospital, Mathews said.

A family friend, Danett Richardson, told the AJC she'd known Jones since he was 6 and started playing youth football with her son.

"They became fast friends because they were the two smallest kids on the football team," Richardson said.

The boys traded football for soccer a few years later and "Mike fell in love with soccer," she said.

Jones' family said hehad plans to study engineering and robotics at Clemson University and was a mentee of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta.

Jones was also a member of Berean Christian Church in Snellville, where a viewing will take place Friday from noon to 6 p.m. The funeral is set for Saturday at Berean Christian, family friend Nicole Henderson said.

A Gwinnett County Schools official said grief counselors would be available for students returning to school.

Richardson described Jones as full of energy and the type of athlete who could run full-speed up Stone Mountain and be ready to go again when he reached the bottom.

Her son is in disbelief over his friend's death.

"He doesn't know how to take that," she said.

Michael's parents, Mary and Prescott Jones, and his sister, Keisha, said in a You-Caring post that Michael "was truly a joy with an infectious smile."

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August 3, 2017


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