Oklahoma State basketball player Tyrek Coger collapses, dies after team workout
Oklahoma State men’s basketball player Tyrek Coger collapsed after a team workout Thursday afternoon and later died, the school announced. He was 21.
Coger, a junior college transfer from Raleigh, N.C., was transported to Stillwater Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m. local time.
Oklahoma State men’s basketball coach Brad Underwood was on a recruiting trip in Las Vegas on Thursday. Underwood said he was “devastated” to hear of Coger’s passing.
“Tyrek was excited to be at Oklahoma State and had such passion for the game and was looking forward to being an OSU Cowboy,” Underwood said in a statement. “Losing a member of the team is like losing a member of the family. But we know our loss pales in comparison to the pain his family is going through.”
Coger attended high school at Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh. At the start of his sophomore season at Cape Fear Community College last fall, the 6-8 forward committed to Ole Miss.
Coger, however, announced in June he would not enroll at Ole Miss due to an SEC rule that mandates junior college transfers must attend school full time for three consecutive semesters. Coger, who spent his freshman year at Eastern Florida State College, had only spent two semesters at Cape Fear Community College. The SEC denied Coger a waiver. Coger had an operation during his senior year of high school to remove fluid around his brain, according to the Stillwater (Okla.) News Press. Doctors warned Coger to not perform anything strenuous or he’d be put at risk of a seizure.
The newspaper reported that Coger had to go back and forth between Eastern Florida State College and Raleigh to obtain the necessary medical clearances to resume his basketball career.
Coger’s death is the latest tragedy for OSU. Last fall, a driver crashed into a crowd at Oklahoma State’s homecoming parade, killing four spectators and wounding dozens. In 2011, women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke, assistant Miranda Serna and two others died in a plane crash in western Arkansas. And in 2001, 10 people died in a Colorado plane crash, including two men’s basketball players and six staff members.