Jersey Shore college football player dies after practice
GARDEN CITY, Kansas — A Jersey Shore high school graduate died after football practice Wednesday from what authorities believe might have been a heart attack.
Braeden Bradforth, 19, was a 2018 graduate of Neptune High School and was playing for Garden City Community College Broncbusters in Kansas. He was a member of the Monmouth roster of the the Shore Sports Network's 2018 Gridiron Classic.
Head coach Jeff Sims told the Garden City Telegram that the defensive linesman was found "medically distressed" in his dorm room on Wednesday night after a team meeting. After calling for a team trainer to help Bradforth, an ambulance took him to a hospital where he died about 11:30 p.m.
Sims told the newspaper that he had been recruited earlier in July on a scholarship. Bradforth arrived at the school in western Kansas on Monday and was "excited about the opportunity."
The coach told the Witchita Eagle that an emergency room physician told him that Bradforth was probably unaware of an existing medical condition that had caused a blood clot that reached his heart.
Kevin Williams, of the Shore Sports Network, remembered the time that Bradforth's mom went to Toms River to pay for an ad in the Gridiron Classic program. The ad read "congratulations" and "from your village" with pictures of Bradforth in uniform.
"She was very proud of what he accomplished and the person he had grown up to be," Williams said. "She said there were many family and friends in the community who had helped guide him."
A GoFundMe page was created to help with funeral expenses.
"It was with great pride and enthusiasm that Braeden set forth on a journey he had planned for his entire life," Rasheena Perry, the page's creator wrote. "From early childhood until now, Braeden had aspired to make it to the NFL. As a result, he worked tirelessly to ensure that he would one day accomplish that goal."
"Braeden will be missed not only by his family, but by everyone whose life he touched. He always took great pride in his family, friends and community, always looking for ways to help others."
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ