Update: A family friend recently announced Anthony Brantley passed away during the weekend.
“Former ACHS head basketball coach and current assistant tennis coach Anthony Brantley passed away (June 3),” said Lisa Klaassen.
Update: A statement was released this afternoon regarding Anthony Brantley’s condition.
“My heart is broken to inform you that doctors have no expectation of Anthony recovering. Your thoughts and prayers are needed now more than ever as the family transitions into a time for see-you-laters and the devastating grief that comes with a loss this large. Your love and kindness is so appreciated. Please pray for healing and comfort, and if you don’t really pray just send vibes of love into the universe,” said a family friend.
Former Arkansas City High School basketball coach Anthony “Ant” Brantley was admitted to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita after suffering “a heart episode” May 31.
His family now is reaching out for financial assistance because he is likely to spend a significant time in the hospital.
At this point, Brantley is being kept sedated to aid in his recovery.
The incident began when he was playing basketball at the Arkansas City Recreation Center.
“He was unresponsive and had to be transported by emergency medical personnel to Wesley,” states a GoFundMe web page set up for fundraising efforts.
Due to the ambulance ride and extended hospital stay, the family is facing some significant medical bills.
Brantley and his wife, Belena, have been married for 14 years and call Ark City their home.
Both are teachers who have three children of their own. Anthony Brantley still teaches physical education at the high school.
“Being teachers and parents doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room to cover medical emergencies,” the GoFundMe page states.
“They would appreciate any help they can get to offset the medical expenses they will have throughout Anthony’s care and treatment.”
Those who wish to help by donating may visit the GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/coach-brantleys-medical-expenses.
Praise, prayers for Brantley
Former students on June 1 expressed their concerns and well wishes, as well as fond memories of Brantley’s coaching.
“You won’t meet many dudes like Anthony Brantley. This guy is the real deal,” said Kevin Scruggs.
“He was my basketball coach when I was a little kid. I was never any good, but Coach Brantley was patient with me. Always kept me positive and motivated.”
“He has a heart of gold and is always willing to lend a helping hand,” Scruggs added.
Amanda Girdler agreed, relating tales of Brantley’s charity through the years.
“He’s the kind of person that just does whatever he can for the people he cares about, especially his students,” she said.
“When I played for him — in southern Missouri, 10 years ago — he helped me buy my shoes when we couldn’t afford it, even though he didn’t make much.”
Girdler also said she has seen Brantley give kids rides, buy them meals and shoes, and even provide them with shelter as best he could, for those in less-than-optimal home situations.
“He lives and breathes basketball, and is all about his family,” she said. “There are plenty of kids who wouldn’t have made it through school without him, and we are all lucky that he exists and has been a part of our lives.”
“And he would do all those things and no one would ever know it. And he probably prefers it that way,” Girdler added. “If you are unable to donate, please share, and lift his incredible family and him up in prayer. If prayer is not your thing, please send positive vibes or make at least a few jump shots in his honor — he would consider that pretty close to prayer, I would say.”