SAN MARCOS (CNS) - A 6-foot, 320-pound offensive lineman who collapsed during a pickup basketball game at his San Marcos high school in May died due to an enlarged heart, authorities said.
Preliminary autopsy findings released by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office on Monday showed Anthony Vaeao's cause of death was cardiac hypertrophy, which is defined as abnormal enlargement of the heart muscle.
A contributing factor to the 18-year-old senior's death was obesity, the Medical Examiner's Office concluded.
Vaeao collapsed the afternoon of May 17 in Mission Hills' gymnasium during a physical education class and was pronounced dead shortly after medics transported him to Palomar Medical Center.
Vaeao was on the school's varsity football team and also threw shot put and discus for the track team. At the time of his death, Vaeao's grandmother, who helped raise him, told reporters that he was a happy kid who was never sick.
Friends described him as a popular student athlete known equally for his big hair and boisterous school spirit.
An only child, Vaeao planned to attend college in this fall, having signed earlier this year to play football at Arizona Western College in Yuma, according to U-T San Diego.