Mother of Fallen Player Wants Defibs at Mich. Schools

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tiny Fennville, Mich., is getting ready to host a basketball game for the first time since 16-year-old Wes Leonard made a game-winning shot then collapsed seconds later.

Leonard was rushed to a hospital where he died that night.

His 14-year-old brother, Mitchell, will be a freshman guard on the same court Tuesday night and his mother, Jocelyn, will be in the stands.

His grief-stricken father, Gary, doesn't plan to be there.

"It's still tough," Joceyln Leonard said softly in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

After lifting his beloved Blackhawks to a 20-0 record last March 3, Wes Leonard was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. His death drew national attention and stunned many in Fennville, a town of 1,400 not far from Lake Michigan some 200 miles west of Detroit.

A medical examiner determined Leonard had sudden cardiac arrest due to an enlarged heart. Two autopsies -- one done locally, another at Harvard -- concluded he would've been given a second chance had someone recognized what was happening and had an automated external defibrillator available.

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