17-Year-Old Basketball Player Dies Suddenly at Home, Coroner Reports Cause of Death

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A 17-year-old high school athlete died suddenly and unexpectedly last week.

An obituary for Max Sorenson of Gillette, Wyoming, said he died Dec. 26 “due to complications from injuries sustained playing basketball.”

Paul Wallem, the Campbell County coroner, reported the cause of death as peritonitis, an infection of the tissue that lines the abdomen, according to a report Friday in the Gillette News Record.

The news outlet reported Sorenson, a junior at Thunder Basin High School, suffered an injury during a Dec. 17 game against Rock Springs, but it did not specify the nature of the injury.

The Cowboy State Daily reported the young man “suffered a medical event at his home … and was pronounced deceased at Campbell Memorial Hospital.”

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“Max had an incredible work ethic and was very disciplined,” his obituary said. “His focus was evidenced by his achievements at school, on the basketball court, at church and in his social activities.

“Even more important than those successes were his welcoming smile, kind eyes, curly locks and loving personality, which made friendship with him easy and comfortable and was felt by everyone.”

Sorenson had a 4.0 grade-point average at Thunder Basin and had been inducted into the National Honor Society.

He was on the school’s state championship basketball team last year as a sophomore, and was a starting player this year as a junior, according to the Cowboy State Daily.

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According to his obituary, Sorenson’s English teacher sent a letter to the young man’s parents after taking his son to watch one of his basketball games.

The teacher wrote, “I just wanted to let you know what an amazing son you have! Max is a tremendous role model for all kids and I’m glad my son got to see him play and I look forward to watching many more games this season.”

“His love for basketball was matched only by his passion for other outdoor sports and activities like golf, wakesurfing and wakeboarding at…


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