Southern High School in Durham mourns death of 16-year-old student

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A tragic loss at Southern High School in Durham has students and staff wearing red and sporting black satin ribbons in honor of 16-year-old Aaron Bagley.

"He's been a big part of my life," said Malik Brantley. "It's just sad to see him go."

The high school junior died unexpectedly last Saturday, sparking several rumors about the circumstances surrounding his death.

"He brightened up your day," said Daneshia Reeves, a student at Southern High School. "He loved basketball. Basketball was his life. He breathed it. He loved it."

Bagley played for the Southern High School basketball team during his sophomore year, but he recently left the squad, according to school officials.

He was also active with a Durham-based intramural basketball team called the Carolina Hornets.

The Durham Public School System will only say the teen was neither on school property, with school staff nor at a school-related event at the time of his death.

Through a DPS spokesperson, Bagley's parents say their son did not die from a heat-related health issue. No other details were provided.

Students had plenty to say on social media after learning Bagley was hospitalized while they were attending their annual prom. The celebratory dance briefly turned somber when many students heard the news.

"A lot of us were crying, hugging each other, trying to console each other," Reeves recalled, adding that students tried to salvage the event by celebrating Bagley's life.

High school basketball scouts and coaches also expressed their condolences on social media.

Bagley and his identical twin brother were considered standouts at local games and tournaments.

"Thoughts and prayers go out to Aaron Bagley's family," one coach wrote.

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