HS basketball player dies after collapsing during practice

LOS ANGELES -- A Notre Dame High School basketball player who collapsed while watching her teammates practice Monday has died, the school's president said in an online statement.

Nikki Valdez, 14, was immediately treated by paramedics at the scene and then transferred to Sherman Oaks Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

"Mrs. Connelly and I, along with the sports medicine staff, basketball coaches and her basketball teammates were at the hospital with the Valdez family when this horribly sad news was announced. We ask for your prayers for Nikki and her family," President Brett Lowart posted on the school's website.

Nikki's brother, Addison, is a junior at the co-ed Catholic college preparatory high school located in the 13600 block of Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks.

Grief counseling services are being offered to fellow students. A prayer service was also scheduled to be held in the high school's gym Tuesday morning.

"The Notre Dame community will assuredly come together in faith, as it always does, to comfort and support the Valdez family and one another," Lowart said.

The cause of Nikki's death was not immediately known. She was a member of the class of 2019, school officials said.
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