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Boy, 9, playing basketball at youth club collapses, dies

June 16, 2012 |  8:29 am

A 9-year-old boy who collapsed at the Boys & Girls Club of the Harbor Area has died, Costa Mesa firefighters said Friday.

Myles Thames fell to the ground at 4:30 p.m. Thursday while shooting hoops on the club's basketball court, according to Battalion Chief Fred Seguin.

An autopsy performed Friday morning determined that Myles suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart that makes it more difficult to pump blood, coroner's officials said.

Titus Hasson, Myles' cousin who lives with the family, said when Myles was younger he had occasional health problems but hadn't suffered any in the last two years.

Boys & Girls Club staff members called 911 four minutes after he collapsed, and when the fire engine arrived, one staff member met firefighters saying, "Hurry, I believe he stopped breathing," Seguin said.

Myles' mother was at the club when firefighters were there, he said.

The boy was taken to Hoag Hospital and pronounced dead.

Myles played several different sports, including football and basketball, and wanted to sign up for soccer, said Hasson, a Newport Harbor High School senior.

The day before Myles collapsed, the two were wrestling and playing at home.

"That's the thing," Hasson said. "He didn't have any problems."

Myles was a student at Kaiser Elementary School in Costa Mesa, said Newport-Mesa Unified spokeswoman Laura Boss.

"It's just another tragedy," Boss said. "Just an absolute tragedy. I'm so proud of the staff at the school and everyone who's pulled together to support these folks."

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--Lauren Williams, Times Community News

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