Medical examiners will be conducting microscopic evaluations to see what caused an Anderson University football player to collapse on the basketball court.
Xavier Walton, a sophomore visual communication design major from Gary, went down Thursday night during an intramural game at the Kardatzke Wellness Center. He later died at Community Hospital Anderson, the school said in a news release.
It’s left the close campus community shattered. Close friends describe the defensive lineman as a well-rounded young man who inspired everyone.
“He wanted to be the best he could be, so he did anything and everything,” said Jason Samuels, Xavier’s teammate.
It was Xavier’s teammates who gave him the nickname, ‘X.’ – and just like the letter, friends say the sophomore strived to make his mark in school and in life.
“X was just the kind of person that would just push people to their limit. Push people past their limit,” said Samuels. “He would be so inspiring.”
Jake Yager, a fellow teammate, still remembers meeting Xavier during freshman orientation.
“He said he was the first person in his family to attend college,” said Yager. “You could tell he was unbelievably excited about that.”
Xavier’s impact can be seen from the football field to the intimate art studios. Anderson’s Art and Design Department is honoring Walton’s life by displaying his most recent work at their gallery. There’s also a backdrop where students can write and put up their prayers.
“He was so full of life,” said Maddie Berger, who took art classes with Xavier. “He was the guy, if you were walking on the street and he knew you, he would stop, drop everything and be like, ‘How are you?’”
Friends say the sophomore worked hard to set a good example for everyone, especially his parents and three younger brothers.
“It’s crazy to see that he’s gone,” said Joshua Adkins, Xavier’s teammate. “At the same time, we know he’ll be right here in our hearts. We know for sure we’re going to keep striving for our goals and dreams just like he did — but now, we know we’re doing it for the right purpose.”