Morgan sophomore dies after collapsing in gymnasium

Police investigate death of computer science major

April 02, 1999|By Jennifer Sullivan | Jennifer Sullivan,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

An autopsy is being conducted to determine what killed a Morgan State University sophomore who collapsed while playing basketball in the school's gym late Wednesday.

Thomas A. Maybin Jr., 21, was pronounced dead at Good Samaritan Hospital a short time after he collapsed about 10 p.m. at Hurt Gymnasium. Baltimore police, who are investigating the death, said Maybin was running backward down the court after scoring during a pickup basketball game and fell onto the hardwood floor.

Morgan State officials said the preliminary cause of death was a heart attack. But the Baltimore medical examiner's office said the exact cause will not be known until test results are back next week.

Jeff Evans, recreation security supervisor for the gym, said he dialed 911 after a student told him Maybin had collapsed. He waited in the front of the gymnasium for paramedics and did not know if anyone tried to resuscitate Maybin.

Evans said Maybin often attended open recreation hours for students, faculty and alumni, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. weeknights. Evans said he met Maybin at the beginning of the fall semester and often saw him during those hours. "I mostly know him from shooting basketball," he said.

Maybin grew up in Fort Washington, Prince George's County. His mother, Regina Shaw, said he was close to his family and devoutly religious. He had no history of heart trouble, she said.

"We're a very spiritual family -- he was a born-again Christian," Shaw said yesterday in a telephone interview, adding that she saw Maybin last weekend.

She said her son was a computer science major.

Maybin attended Morgan to stay fairly close to Shaw and his younger brother, a junior at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville. Maybin had graduated in 1997 from DeMatha, a private Catholic school, where he had played football and sang in the chorus.

"He was a good student and a nice boy," DeMatha Principal John Moylan said yesterday after learning of the death. "He was on the football team -- he wasn't a great player, but he was a contributor."

Moylan said he hopes DeMatha students attend the funeral, tentatively scheduled for Monday or Tuesday. "We're off [Friday] and all of next week for Easter vacation," he said. "If it happened during school time, we could bring a school bus to the funeral or wake."

Marcus A. Clark, 18, a freshman from Fort Washington who went to high school with Maybin, said he had seen his friend on campus Wednesday and the young man looked fine.

"He seemed all right, like the same TJ," said Clark.

Arnell Carrington, 19, a freshman from Washington, D.C., lived on the same floor as Maybin in Cummings Hall, a dormitory on Morgan's campus. Carrington said Maybin was quiet. He said he sometimes played cards with him in the evenings.

Morgan students Maishan St. Patrick, 19, was fatally shot while driving home in East Baltimore in September 1997, and Sharonda Conaway, 20, a junior from Fort Washington, died from meningitis in February 1997.

Pub Date: 4/02/99

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