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Vigil held for Copiague teen who collapsed, died at basketball tryout

Family, friends, fellow students, and members of the

Family, friends, fellow students, and members of the community came together Friday afternoon to mourn the loss of Carmine Payton with a candle-lit vigil at the Walter G. O'Connell - Copiague School, on Dixon Avenue, in Copiague. Credit: BRYAN LOPEZ

About 100 people attended a candlelight vigil Friday evening for Carmyne Payton, the Copiague High School 10th-grader who collapsed and died during a basketball tryout at the school Wednesday.

The vigil, which included Payton’s family members, was held outside the front entrance of Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School.

Some of those who came wore purple T-shirts with Payton’s face on the front.

A memorial was displayed by the entrance of the school, with dozens of candles, flowers and a photo of Payton. His mother, Tiffany Wofford, sat and cried as people dropped off candles.

Payton’s father, Arthur Payton, thanked those who came.

"Those loved messages really touch us and we appreciate it," he told the crowd. "All the heartfelt messages that we’ve been receiving, we appreciate it."

Carmyne, 15, had tried out for the Copiague High School basketball team and made the first cut Tuesday. He was looking forward to showing his skills again Wednesday, his mother told Newsday on Thursday.

Arthur Payton said Thursday that authorities told him his son died of an apparent heart attack, though he awaited the results of an autopsy. He said Carmyne was a healthy kid.

Suffolk County officials said in an email Friday that there were no new developments in the teen’s death.

Suffolk police said by email Friday that they do not release cause of death on noncriminal death investigations.

With Craig Schneider

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