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Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018: John Bowne basketball player collapses at practice, dies

   Leading off today: A 16-year-old Queens junior with no known prior health problems collapsed at varsity basketball practice Wednesday and died at an hospital.

   Lenny Pierre was practicing with the team at John Bowne High School when he collapsed at about 1:30 p.m. Medics transported him to New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he could not be saved.

   The city's medical examiner will work to determine the cause of death.

   "This was a tragic loss, and my heart is with this student's family, team and school community," Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said. "We will provide additional guidance counselors and support to this school community for as long as it is needed, and we are working with NYPD and agency partners as they conduct a thorough investigation."

   Pierre's uncle, Daniel Georges, rushed to the hospital after the teen's mom called with the news.

   "When I had got there, they had already finished CPR and he was dead," he said. "He was perfectly healthy, played basketball all the time, nothing out of the ordinary at all."

   Pierre's death is believed to be the first fatality involving a New York high school athlete in a practice or contest since September 2017, when Geneseo cross country runner Claire Allen, 14, was struck and killed by a car during an after-school training run.

   Allen's death came about two weeks after Dominic Bess, 14, an incoming freshman football player at Mount St. Michael, collapsed and died Tuesday during practice. Bess was running sprints in shorts and a T-shirt when he collapsed.

   On Aug. 10, 2017, 16-year-old rising junior Joshua Mileto died after a 400-pound log that he and several other players were carrying fell on him during a conditioning camp before the official start of fall practices for prospective Sachem East players.

   The last known fatality during an athletic contest came Oct. 26, 2015, when Loyola School sophomore Thomas Jakelich, 16, died following a collision with another player during a boys varsity soccer game on Randall's Island.

   Shoreham-Wading River football player Tom Cutinella, a 16-year-old junior guard and linebacker, died in 2014 after he collided with an opponent and collapsed during a game. Authorities said Cutinella died from his head injury after undergoing surgery.

   On Sept. 1, 2014, Curtis High junior lineman Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapsed after wind sprints during a Labor Day practice and later died at a Staten Island hospital.


   In March 2014, New Paltz sophomore Kyle Brewer, 16, died after suffering two heart attacks triggered by an undetected heart condition. He was initially stricken and collapsed during track and field practice at the school.

   In September 2013, Brocton junior Damon Janes, 16, died three days after collapsing during a Section 6 football game. His death was the sixth ever in Western New York high school football and the first there since Mike Dwyer of Olean Archbishop Walsh in 1977.

   Ronan Guyer, a 14-year-old Southold freshman, died in November 2012 five days after being placed in a medically induced coma. While scouting the course to be used the following day at the NYSPHSAA cross country championships at Elma Meadows, Guyer slipped on a muddy area and fell on his chest, triggering cardiac arrest.

   Other recent deaths of football players in New York include:

   In 1983, Yonkers football player Fernando Guedes, 17, died after collapsing during the season-opening game vs. Scarsdale. The death prompted the district to briefly suspend all sports while it investigated how an athlete with a serious heart ailment was allowed to participate.

   Newburgh Free Academy tri-captain James Arline, a 17-year-old senior linebacker, fell ill shortly after an October 1992 road game and died of a stroke. It was uncertain whether it was related to a blow suffered in the game.

   Torrance Wright Jr., a 17-year-old lineman for Rochester's Franklin High, collapsed and died during a four-team scrimmage in Livonia the week before the start of the 1999 regular season.

   Spackenkill junior football player Mark Milano died Oct. 7, 2006, from complications involving pain medication at his home a day after dislocating an ankle during a game at Millbrook.

   In July 2012, Nicholas Dellaventura, 15, died after being overcome by heat during an offseason workout at St. Joseph-by-the-Sea.

   Other recent deaths in other New York sports include:

   In April 2007, Pittsford freshman lacrosse player Jeff Milano-Johnson, 14, died after he was struck in the back of his head just below the helmet by a ball during warmups before a game at Spencerport.

   Another freshman lacrosse player died in March 2000. Louis Acompora, a Northport goalie, was struck in the chest by a ball during a freshman game. Acompora, 14, suffered commotio cordis, a rare form of cardiac arrest considered reversible with the assistance of an automated external defibrillator, which typically was not available at sports contests at that time.

   His parents became active in raising awareness through the Louis Acompora Foundation, and then-Gov. George Pataki signed into law a bill in June 2002 requiring that a portable defibrillator be placed in each high school. "Louis' Law" was the nation's first to require AEDs, which are now commonplace at schools, public buildings and sporting events in many states.

   Binghamton High lacrosse player John Mack died Nov. 30, 2006, two days after suffering cardiac arrest when checked across the chest during a pickup lacrosse game in the offseason.

   New York City-area runners Stephanie Companioni (St. Thomas Aquinas) and Tanya Lovelace (St. Francis Prep), collapsed and died in February and April 1991, respectively, after competing. Both were reported to be instances of sudden heart failure.

   In April 2007, runner Arielle Newman, 17, of Staten Island's Notre Dame Academy died when her body absorbed lethal levels of methyl salicylate, an ingredient found in sore muscle treatments like BenGay, Icy Hot and Tiger Balm. Newman was using a cream, adhesive pads containing the anti-inflammatory and another product with the chemical, the medical examiner determined.

   NYT chimes in on JG3: he New York Times profiled New York basketball career scoring leader Joe Girard III in Wednesday's editions.

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