High school football player collapses, dies during practice

A Mississippi high school student died after collapsing on the field during football practice Monday.

The Brandon High School community is in shock after the sudden death of 17-year-old Philip Laster Jr. He was just weeks away from starting his senior year and was determined to help his football team win the state title.

Luster’s body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office to rule on the cause of death.

His family said Luster spent his last moments on the football field he loved.

His father, Philip Laster Sr., said he was driving Monday when he got a call from his son’s football coach. By the time his father reached the hospital, it was too late.

“[Coach] told me if I could go I’d better go because it was a serious situation,” Philip Luster senior said. “On the way there, I got the call that they lost him.”

Philip Luster Jr. is survived by his parents and three brothers. His family remembers him as a “gentle giant” who was loved by many.

“I’m speechless because I can’t hear his footsteps through the door, or ‘Mom, are you cooking?’ in his deep voice,” said his mother, Ashanta Luster. “He was a beautiful boy. I love my son.”

Philip Laster Sr. said his son was a man no one could say a bad word about.

“It’s hard to find anyone who has anything bad to say about this guy,” he said. “The outpouring of love is just a testament to what his life was like. It was a good boy.”

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