GREENSBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina A&T community is mourning the loss of one of their own, volleyball student-athlete Fatimah Shabazz.
She died suddenly on Sunday.
Shabazz was a redshirt senior from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Saturday, during the Aggies' Big South tournament Semi-final match she suffered a medical emergency. Sunday she passed from what was later diagnosed as a brain aneurysm.
Head Coach Hal Clifton spoke about her unexpected death.
"Oh it hurts, they're your family, they're your kids. You've developed these relationships with them, and these aren't my biological kids but these are my kids."
According to Coach Clifton, Shabazz was one of the best players in his 11-year tenure at North Carolina A&T.
"She was a fierce competitor and that energy and excitement that she brought on to the court was just contagious throughout our team. When we're in those matches and she makes those plays. She fires up the team and keeps that energy going. She's been a huge part of the success of A&T volleyball over the last 5 years. The things we were able to accomplish and the banners that are hanging in the gym, has a lot to do with what Fatimah was able to do at the net."
During the Aggies' Big South tournament match with High Point Saturday, Fatimah suffered a medical emergency. The next day she, unfortunately, died from a brain aneurysm.
"Fatimah was a wonderful student and a wonderful person. She was doing everything so well, she graduated with her undergraduate degree, was in her master's program. A bright talented young lady, it hurts, and it hurts deeply."
Novant Health Neurosurgeon Dr. Rashid Janjua explains what an aneurysm actually is.
"Some arteries in the brain can have weak spots, and because of pressure on those weak spots, just like a bicycle tire, if the outer tubing is worn down the inner tubing can start pushing out and forming bubbles. Those bubbles can be weak and burst and cause a hemorrhage in the brain."
As the team regroups and prepares for their match this weekend, Coach Clifton has one more message for Fatimah.
"I'm thankful that I got to spend time with you. Ppl were asking for a miracle, and when she passed, it wasn't the miracle that she wanted. It was a miracle that we were able to be with her."