By Christina Carrega
A 16-year-old high school junior died on Wednesday afternoon during basketball practice inside his Flushing high school, police said.
Lenny Pierre was with his teammates at John Bowne High School when he went into cardiac arrest around noon. The Wildcats were preparing for the Queens Jam Christmas Classic tournament game at the school on Saturday against the Bronx’s Monroe Campus High School, according to the MaxPreps website.
School staffers immediately called police and when they arrived at the school on Main Street, the 6-foot, 6-inch varsity basketball player who wore the No. 31 jersey, was unconscious and unresponsive.
Pierre, a Jamaica resident, was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital-Queens where he was pronounced dead.
“This was a tragic loss, and my heart is with this student’s family, team, and school community,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “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.”
The city’s medical examiner will determine Pierre’s cause of dead as the investigation is ongoing.
No one answered the phone at the school when contacted Wednesday afternoon.
Pierre also played junior varsity basketball and participated in indoor and outdoor track and field sports for the school, according to the Public School’s Athletic League (PSAL) website.
Mayor Bill de Blasio Issued a statement to mourn Pierre’s death.
“I am heartbroken to hear of Lenny Pierre’s passing. As a parent, and as a father of student athletes, I can only imagine the pain and sorrow being felt by Lenny’s family, loved ones and classmates,” de Blasio said. “On behalf of 8.6 million New Yorkers, I extend our deepest condolences. We will be with this family now and in the future as we mourn the loss of one of our City’s children.”