Stephen W. Barnes, 19, a former basketball star at St. Anthony's High-School in Washington and a freshman basketball player at Xavier University of Louisiana, died May 28 at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

He had suffered head injuries on May 14 and never regained consciousness after undergoing brain surgery. New Orleans authorities are investigating the death.

Don Roig of the coroner's office in New Orleans said death from a cerebral contusion resulting from a severe blow to the head and a blood clot beneath the brain.

Mr. Barnes was found paralyzed in his room at the university about 9 a.m. on May 14 by fellow students. At first it was believed he had suffered a stroke.

Roig said there had been conflicting stories given about Mr. Barnes' activities before he was found. He reportedly fell while playing basketball. He also reportedly has been "slap-boxing" with another student around 4 that morning.

A third report said that some fellow students had visited him in his room before he was found, Roig said. Although a number of persons have been questioned, none has been held in custody, he added.

Mr. Barnes was born in Washington. While a student at St. Anthony's from the 10th through the 12th grade, he played varsity basketball and was captain of the team in his senior year.

Mr. Barnes, a member of St. Anthony's track team in his sophomore year, was awarded a full athletic scholarship to Xavier. He was one of five St. Anthony's basketball players who went on to the university.

He is survived by his mother, Joyce Nash Barnes, his father, Elridge Barnes, two brothers, Elrich and Stanley, and two sisters, Yvette and Robin, all of Washington; his grandfather, Walter H. Nash Jr., also of Washington, and his grandmother, Marnes, of Rocky Mount, N.C.