Xavier Walton, Anderson University sophomore, football player, dies during basketball game

Walton played linebacker at AU

ANDERSON, Ind. - The Anderson University campus is mourning the death of a football player who collapsed during an intramural basketball game, the school said.

Xavier Walton, a sophomore visual communication design major from Gary, collapsed Thursday night during a game at the Kardatzke Wellness Center, and later died at Community Hospital Anderson, the school said in a news release.

Walton, who graduated from Thea Bowman Leadership Academy in Gary, was a lineman on AU's football team and had lettered as a freshman.

"Xavier was a very gifted student with wide interests," James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University, said in a statement. "He loved his art and was known for skills in drawing. He loved music of all kinds, and he loved to be involved in all the moments of student activity. We are all deeply saddened that such a promising young man would pass from us, but we celebrate all we have come to know about him and hold his family, classmates, roommates, teammates and his many friends in our love and prayers."

"Xavier was a strong Christian and a wonderful teammate," Bobby Ladner, AU head football coach, said in a statement. "The team and coaches loved him a great deal. We are keeping his family and friends in our hearts and in our prayers."

Anderson students, staff and faculty gathered for a time of prayer for the Walton family on campus late Thursday night.

An autopsy was performed Friday. The Madison County coroner said the official cause of death was pending.

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