Teen hits game-winning shot, dies
Wes Leonard hit a game-winning shot before collapsing and dying Thursday night.
March 4th, 2011
11:05 AM ET

Teen hits game-winning shot, dies

A 16-year-old Michigan basketball player hit a game-winning shot in overtime Thursday night to give his team a perfect 20-0 season record, then collapsed and died on the court, CNN affiliate WOOD in Grand Rapids reports.

Wes Leonard, a junior at Fennville High School, collapsed on the court just after Fennville's 57-55 overtime win over Bridgman High, according to the WOOD report. A parent EMT immediately began CPR, but the teen later died at Holland Hospital, the report said.

The cause of death was unknown, local media reported.

The teen had scored more than 1,000 points in his time at Fennville and was also a varsity football player, WOOD reported.

“Wes was strong and powerful, and that makes this hard to handle,” school Superintendent Dirk Weeldreyer said Friday, according to a report on HollandSentinel.com. “There’s really no answer we can give when a tragedy like this happens.”

Crisis counselors were on the high school campus Friday morning to help students deal with the tragedy, according to the Sentinel.

Leonard's mother is a choir instructor at the school, and Leonard has a younger sibling, the Sentinel reported.

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Filed under: Basketball • Michigan • Sports • U.S.
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Jeremy

    Sad story. Young kid.....but that's a heck of a way to go. Talk about going out with a bang. We are all going to die at some point, his just came too soon

    March 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. johnny rivers

    God I just had a heart attack a white guy p[laying basketball ...waw and he can shoot?.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sean Carlson

    Something dosn't add up with this story...

    My heart goes out to Wes and his family and friends.

    I hope they find out the cause of death.

    Rip Wes

    March 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Suzy

    I'm sort of tired of seeing replies to questions stating something like, "Do your research before posting this". Seriously, these comment boards are supposed to encourage conversation. Does anyone posting these "do your research" comments really expect everyone to fully research everything they are curious about before asking a question? I doubt anyone can live up to such strict standards. Especially concerning something that does not directly affect my daily life, I'd rather just ask a question and get an answer and move on.

    March 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cassidy

    Marfan syndrome? Kids have died on the court from having undetected Marfan's in the past. In runs in my family, and the basketball player physique is characteristic. Tall, lanky, long fingers.

    March 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carrie

      I have a brother with Marfan syndrome, so Marfan's was my first thought too. One of the facial characteristics of Marfan's is "downward slanting palpebral fissures." If you look at pictures of this kid, you can see that his eyes slant downward.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. doug

    Maybe overstressed combine with irregular heart beat patterns. It could be something that simple...

    March 5, 2011 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. ed bailey

    A 16 year old suffering cardiac arrest due to an enlarged heart.the sad scenario can only be matched by the huge questions that rattle around in my head.something IS wrong with this picture and the two maybe's aren't good. If steroid abuse happened it is understandable except why didn't someone know and intervine. Drug abusers can bbe good , the best liars. But someone always knows! IF he wasn't doing anything self destructive then I see a very dark possibility and the cover up will begin!!!v

    March 5, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike V

    God this, God that, Pray for this, Pray for that......GO PRAY FOR A GOD THAT DOESN'T ALLOW TERRIBLE THINGS LIKE THIS TO HAPPEN! GOD IS A MONSTER!

    March 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hussein

    This is a sad story, and I give my respects to all his friends, family,
    (especially the family) and anyone else who saw this traumatizing event.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Akiharu Murase

    I think so sad. Because Wes Leonard was a white guy, 6'3", 220lbs, muscled built and only 16.

    August 27, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. athletes steroid abuse testing kit

    Thank you for the information we've learned in this blog. This has given me food for thought. Great post!

    November 9, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
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    Good stuff is always a good stuff. Thanks

    February 18, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
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    April 6, 2012 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. Johnny

    That's a dumb, dumb question

    March 4, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. alex is an idiot

    would he have died if he missed the shot moron

    March 4, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
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