Students gather for vigil honoring Josey High School student

Students gather for vigil honoring Josey High School student

High school students gathered at a vigil on Tuesday to help each other cope with the loss of Recardell Sheppard, affectionately called CJ.

The high school senior collapsed Monday night on the basketball court at Josey High School during a pick-up game and died at the hospital shortly after.

A little more than a dozen of CJ's friends gathered at the Carrie J. Mays Center on 11th Avenue to remember him - most of them either students at Josey High or students with whom he played basketball.

They were encouraged to share their memories of CJ, and his coach led them in prayer. Most say they will remember his smile.

"We got the call and they were like 'CJ is dead.' So we kind of panicked, but we didn't want to believe it because it felt so unreal to us and to kids that actually attend Josey with him," said Aquilla Hankerson, a friend of CJ. "So when we saw it in the news that he was actually pronounced dead at the hospital, it kind of just tore us all apart and it overwhelmed all of us. It kind of made things not feel so right without him being here."

There will be another vigil held tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at Josey High School behind the gym.

The coroner says it could be days or even weeks before GBI releases how CJ died. For now, family and friends continue to mourn the loss of their loved one.

Copyright 2014 WFXG. All rights reserved.