SHERMAN OAKS—On Monday, November 16, a young female student from Notre Dame High School died after collapsing at basketball practice.
Freshman student Nikki Valdez, 14, was attending basketball practice at school when teammates observed her collapse on the ground. Paramedics were called to the scene and proceeded to transport Valdez to Sherman Oaks Hospital. Upon arrival, doctors did everything in their power to resuscitate Valdez, but the teen passed away.
“I am deeply saddened to announce that our student Nikki Valdez died on Monday, Nov. 16,” said President Brett Lowart in a statement on the school’s website.
“Mrs. Connelly and I, along with the sports medicine staff, basketball coaches and her basketball teammates were at 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),” added Lowart.
Valdez is the second student from Notre Dame High School to pass away this year. In an unrelated death, Chris Kelly, 18, a senior at the school died in a car accident in August.
She was set to graduate from the school in 2019. She was an active athlete participating in basketball and cross-country track for the school.
Valdez has an older brother, Addison, who also attends the co-ed Catholic school and is a junior.
A prayer service was held for Valdez in the school gym on Tuesday, November 17, immediately following her death in the gym during fifth period. Fellow students of Valdez’s took to social media sites, such as Twitter, to express their sorrow over her passing. Counseling staff and campus ministry were on hand at the school for students on Tuesday.
“The Norte 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,” said Lowart.
The exact cause of the teen’s death has not yet been disclosed to the public.
By Taryn Moore and Donald Roberts