WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Worcester community members are mourning after a local teen died last week after he reportedly participated in a social media challenge. 

Worcester police said the 14-year-old Harris Wolobah stopped breathing at his home on Friday. 

Speaking with 7NEWS, Wolobah’s recreational team basketball coach said Wolobah had been at Doherty Memorial High School earlier in the day when he ate a chip covered in spice made from hot peppers and got sick. 

“He fell victim to the ‘One Chip Challenge,” coach Douglas Hill said. “There was a person in school that kind of dared him to do it.” 

“The nurse basically said that she just took his vitals and looked for whatever symptoms she could find,” Hill said. “He said that he was okay but was not feeling good.” 

Hill said Wolobah’s stomach was hurting, saying “he was obviously feeling the effects of the chip.” 

While Worcester police said there was no official cause of death as of Monday, a spokesperson said “it appears he did eat the chip earlier in the day.”

Eliana Montalvo, 25, of Rhode Island said she took the same social media challenge that  Wolobah is believed to have taken. 

“I would never do it again and I regretted doing it when I did — immediately,” Montalvo said. 

The “One Chip Challenge” dares people to consume a single extremely spicy chip, wait as long as possible before drinking or eating and then post video of the experience to social media. 

“It was like a burning sensation at first, like I swallowed fire or something, and then afterward it was more like a pain,” Montalvo said. 

The Wolobah family was still waiting to get their loved one’s official cause of death from the medical examiner on Monday. 

Speaking by phone, Wolobah’s aunt said the sophomore played basketball and just made a traveling team. 

“The night he died, he got accepted,” said Louise Richardson. “He didn’t even know that.” 

“It was his dream to get accepted into that,” Richardson said. 

Richardson continued, describing Wolobah as a “very respectful kid.” 

“Very loving,” she said. “Well behaved and he loved his basketball. It was his life.” 

In the aftermath of Wolobah’s death, community members are continuing the mourn a student who had much more living to do. 

“The message is very simple,” coach Douglas Hill said. “I think that we have to make sure that we support each other not doing things that we wouldn’t do ourselves.”

Wolobah’s coaches now plan to hold a fundraiser on Saturday at St. Bernard’s Church in Worcester to benefit Wolobah’s family. As part of the fundraiser, organizers are asking guests to attend and play basketball, contributing a $25 donation to go toward funeral costs.

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox