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Family of Georgia Teen Who Died After Basketball Drills Sues School Officials

  • February 24, 2021

The family of a Georgia teenager who died after participating in outdoor basketball practice two years ago has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against several school officials, including the athletic director and principal.

The teenager, Imani Bell, was a junior at the Elite Scholars Academy, a public school in Jonesboro, Ga., in August 2019 when she was running up the football stadium steps during a drill in “extreme heat” and collapsed, according to the lawsuit, filed on Wednesday by her parents, Dorian and Eric Bell.

It was the first basketball practice of the school year, her parents said.

“Basketball was one of her loves,” Mr. Bell said at a news conference on Wednesday. Imani, 16, was the oldest of the four children the couple have together. “She was in love with life. She was in love with education and just musically oriented.”

The lawsuit says that the afternoon of the drill, Imani “struggled to run up the stadium steps as directed” — so much so that she was forced to hold on to the railing to remain upright. When she neared the top of the steps, she suddenly collapsed and lost consciousness.

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