Friend of Josh Level Uses Senior Project to Pay Tribute to Him

Posted by Don Moore on April 23, 2014 at 2:09 pm under High School | 2 Comments to Read

Greensboro – Senior year for most high school students is all about the prom, graduation and making plans for the future. It’s usually considered to be an exciting milestone in a student’s life, but for local senior Kanayo Obi-Rapu, Jr., and his classmates at New Garden Friends School, this year has been bittersweet.

Obi-Rapu says his “life changed forever” on February 19, 2013 when his best friend and teammate Josh Level collapsed during a basketball game and died later that evening. At the time, no one knew what had cause this talented, healthy young athlete to succumb to such a tragedy. Level’s autopsy later showed that he had died from a viral infection called myocarditis, which attacked his heart while he was playing that fateful night. Obi-Rapu says he still finds it hard to believe that his friend is gone and when he was challenged with the task of finding a topic for his senior project he knew exactly what he wanted to do.

One of the things that Obi-Rapu says he remembers most about the night that Level collapsed was how long it seemed to take the paramedics to arrive and although the nurse and coaches who were in attendance tried to revive him, time was just not on their side. After doing some research of his own, Obi- Rapu learned that having an automated external defibrillator (AED) on site could have helped to save his friend’s life. There are currently no laws in the state of North Carolina which require amateur athletic facilities to have an AED on site. “My goal is to bring about an awareness of the necessity to have an AED in all amateur athletic facilities”, says Obi-Rapu. “This is one of the best ways I can think of to honor Josh.”

To spread awareness about the need for AED’s, Obi-Rapu is organizing a charity basketball game called the Josh Level Classic for his senior project. He says that this project is helping him to heal and he knows that Level, who was known for his infectious smile and his passion for helping others, would be proud of him. Last Wednesday was signing day for Obi-Rapu, who will be playing basketball for Longwood University this fall, and although he says he was happy to have his family and teammates by his side, he admits the absence of his friend was apparent. “Not having Josh by my side this year has been difficult, but I know he’s smiling down on me with that smile that everybody loved.”

*The Josh Level Classic is tentatively scheduled to be played at Dudley High School, Friday May 2, 2014 at 6:00 pm. The venue may be changed due to the overwhelming response of people wishing to honor Level. Donations to support the Josh Level Classic may be made at For additional information, Obi-Rapu may be contacted at or the Josh Level Classic Facebook page.

  • Kesha Spicer said,


    This is an awesome way to pay tribute to Josh. You are a class act!

    Thank you

    Kesha Spicer
    Spice’s mom 🙂

  • John Gatling said,

    Awesome Kanayo! You and alot of your peers in the area have set a great example for the guys/girls coming up behind you! Thanks also for the time you all have spent with them on the court/field/etc…I pray God bless ur efforts tremendously!