Lakeside Junior High Remembers Student Who Died During Basketball Practice; Community Rallies With GoFundMe Account

SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- Students are remembering a fellow classmate after she collapsed and died Tuesday (Nov. 15) during basketball practice.

Hallways at Lakeside Junior High were covered in posters made for Adia Smith and her classmates were wearing hearts in her memory.

"You hear about it sometimes out of where you are and you never really think it happens to you. So it's definitely a tough tough time for all of us," basketball coach Daren Ward said.

Adia was an eighth grader who played with the ninth grade team. She came to basketball practice Tuesday morning just like any other day. Ward said she collapsed during the first drill. He thought she tripped, but it was more than that.

"It's definitely a situation that no coach ever dreams of happening," Ward said.

Ward said Adia's death has been hard on the team, but they will always remember her, not only as a great player but as the kind of person you wanted to be around.

"No matter what was going on in practice and her life, she was always upbeat, always had a smile and was a teammate. Was very loyal to us and her teammates," Ward said.

Principal Michael Shepherd said losing a student any time is a tragedy, but losing a student during school is even worse.

"Our kids here are her teammates and her friends and so they are really affected by this," he said.

He said staff and faculty jumped in to help Adia's classmates cope with what happened.

"There is no book on these things to know exactly what to do but we used our hearts and gut and just tried to support our kids in the best way we knew how to support them," Shepherd said.

Adia's team also plans to dedicate their season to her.

Adia's funeral will be held Monday (Nov. 21) in Fayetteville. Springdale students are off for the holiday next week.

A family friend has set up a GoFundMe account to help the Smith family pay for the girl's funeral. In two days, they have raised more than half of the $20,000 goal.