Notre Dame High School Freshman Dies After Collapsing During Basketball Practice

- Grief counselors were at the campus of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks today following the death of a student basketball player.
  
Nikki Valdez collapsed on campus Monday afternoon and was taken to Sherman Oaks Hospital, where she died later in the day, Notre Dame President Brett Lowart said in a statement on the school's website.
  
"Nikki was a freshman member of the class of 2019," Lowart said. "She has a brother, Addison, who is a junior at Notre Dame. ... We ask for your prayers for Nikki and her family: Addison and her parents, Adam and Helen."

"Nikki suddenly collapsed while observing basketball practice in the afternoon," Lowart said. "She was immediately treated by paramedics called to the scene, then transferred to (the hospital), where efforts to revive her were unsuccessful.
  
"(Our principal) 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," Lowart
said.
  
"We ask for your prayers for Nikki and her family: Addison and her parents, Adam and Helen," Lowart said.

The cause of death was not immediately known. A prayer service will be held in the gym later today, Lowart said.

Message from the school's president:

Dear Notre Dame Community,

I am deeply saddened to announce that our student Nikki Valdez died Monday, Nov. 16. Nikki was a freshman member of the Class of 2019. She has a brother, Addison, who is a junior at Notre Dame. Nikki suddenly collapsed while observing basketball practice in the afternoon. She was immediately treated by paramedics called to the scene, then transferred to Sherman Oaks Hospital where efforts to revive her were unsuccessful. 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 (Addison and her parents, Adam and Helen).

An announcement will be made this (Tuesday) morning before school encouraging any student that may know Nikki or Addison to meet in the gymnasium for grief counseling. Our counseling staff and campus ministry staff will be available to students throughout the day. We will have a prayer service on Tuesday, Nov. 17, in the gym after fifth period. The Notre Dame community will assuredly come together in faith, as it always does, to comfort and support the Valdez family and one another. Thank you very much for your prayers.

Brett Lowart
President

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