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17-year-old Grafton basketball player dies during practice

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GRAFTON -- Students and faculty at Grafton High School are remembering 17-year-old Josh Davis-Joiner, a Grafton High basketball player who died on Monday during basketball practice.

Debbie Joiner is mourning the death of her son, Josh, who excelled on the basketball court at Grafton High School. Debbie says she's proud of all her son's accomplishments in the classroom and on the basketball court. "I'm so proud of him. He was an awesome, amazing child - a caring person and a good person, and he loved his family and his community," Debbie said.

Debbie says basketball was Josh's life, and he had been passionate about basketball since he was a young child. "He died doing what he loved most, which is basketball. He started at a young age, but he slept with a basketball, so he loved it," Debbie said.

Debbie says the fact that Josh is now gone hasn't really sunk in yet. "It feels like it's a dream, and now it seems like I'm waking up from the dream - but just to know that he's a good kid, and he's in a better place, I believe in the faith he carried," Debbie said.

Josh's grandmother says she will hold onto all the special moments they shared together. "What's going to stick with me most is when he comes in, it's a hug, 'hi, grandma,' and when he leaves, 'hi, grandma, I love you.' So those memories will last. I will miss the hugs and the 'I love yous,'" Josh's grandmother, Ora Joiner said.

Josh's grandfather, Russell Joiner, says Josh was his hero. "He was a role model. He was a role model for a lot of young kids, and that's what I admire most about him," Russell Joiner said.

Josh's mother, Debbie, says she will continue to think about her fondest memories of her son, and will always keep them close to her heart.

Josh's teammates at Grafton High School are distraught, and deeply saddened, but as of right now, the basketball team plans to play their next game that's scheduled for this Friday. Extra counselors were on hand Tuesday to help students during this emotional time.

Funeral arrangements haven't yet been finalized. Josh has two older brothers and a younger sister.