Massachusetts game official dies during girls playoff game

A beloved game official collapsed and died during a girls basketball game in Massachusetts over the weekend.

Don McGillicuddy, 56, collapsed during the final moments of a Massachusetts state tournament game between Watertown High School and Old Rochester Regional High School on Friday, according to a report from NBC 10 Boston.

officialStaff and students left the gym while the Watertown athletic trainer and local first responders tended to McGillicuddy.

A recent story from detailed the events during the basketball game. Below is an excerpt from the story.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) confirmed to that McGillicuddy was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died.

“The MIAA expresses condolences to the family of the game official, and will continue to provide support to its officials, member schools, student-athletes, coaches, and fans affected by this tragedy,” the MIAA said in a statement.

School administrators talked to students and families in the “minutes after the game” and counselors will be available to students on Monday, the school district’s spokesperson said.

“We encourage families to talk with their students about what they saw and how they are feeling, even if they are not showing obvious signs of being upset,” the district’s statement read. “All of us at Watertown Public Schools are keeping this official and his loved ones in our thoughts.”

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The International Association of Approved Basketball Officials of Greater Lowell also announced McGillicuddy’s passing in a post on its Facebook page.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of longtime board member Donny McGillicuddy last night,” the president of the board Jeff Blanchard said in a post on Saturday. “Our IAABO family will not be the same without him. There are no words for the legacy he has left on the Board. His shining personality will live in our hearts. He has made a difference in so many lives and We are grateful to have been a friend of his.”

The boys basketball game between Watertown and Shawsheen Tech was rescheduled to Saturday after the incident, the district said in its statement.