Basketball player killed by blood cell disorder, not by gum

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Shanice Clark, 21, was found dead in her dorm room Jan. 18, 2015. (Photo: California University of Pennsylvania)

Shanice Clark, 21, was found dead in her dorm room Jan. 18, 2015. (Photo: California University of Pennsylvania)

CALIFORNIA, Pa. (AP) — A coroner now says a college basketball player found in her Pennsylvania dorm room in January died from a blood cell disorder, not from inhaling chewing gum, as police first believed.

The cause of death for California University of Pennsylvania student Shanice Clark was announced Monday by the Washington County coroner. The 21-year-old Clark was found unresponsive Jan. 18 and couldn’t be revived.

The 6-foot senior forward from Toronto was redshirting after playing two dozen games for the Vulcans last season.

California borough police say a preliminary report from medical personnel indicated that the death appeared to be accidental. Police said early information indicated Clark aspirated the chewing gum while sleeping.

But Coroner Tim Warco blamed it on sickle cell trait, a blood cell disorder that can lead to sudden death in extremely rare cases.

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