Sports

Man dies after VT middle school hoops melee



ALBURGH, Vt. — A brawl broke out among spectators at a middle school basketball game in northern Vermont, and a 60-year-old man who participated in the fight died, police said.

State troopers were called to the Alburgh Community Education Center just before 7 p.m. Tuesday after a report of a large fight involving spectators during a seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball game between Alburgh and St. Albans.

The fight ended before troopers arrived, and many of the participants had left. Russell Giroux, of Alburgh, sought medical attention, police said. He was taken by ambulance to the Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans, where he was pronounced dead.

Jay Nichols, the executive director of the Vermont Principals’ Association, said in a statement that the group, which oversees school sports in the state, had no information about the event beyond what the authorities provided.

“Although we can not speak specifically about the events at this individual game, we would like to once again emphasize that middle and high school sports are educational and are for the benefit of the student-athletes,” he said. “Spectators that cannot behave appropriately can be barred from events and can face criminal charges.”

The superintendent of the Grand Isle Supervisory Union, which includes Alburgh, did not respond to a Wednesday request for comment.

The state police and Grand Isle state’s attorney’s office are investigating Giroux’s death. The state medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy.

Alburgh is a town of about 2,100 in northwestern Vermont. It is surrounded on three sides by Lake Champlain. The northern part of the community forms part of the border with Canada.

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