Grand Prairie student dies from rare heart disease

A mother wants other parents to make sure they're getting their kids screened for a hidden heart disease that took her son’s short life.

The basketball player from South Grand Prairie High School suddenly collapsed and died at basketball camp this week. 17-year-old John Lee's fatal heart problems went undetected.

His friends spoke about the enormous impact he had on all of them.

"There was never a dull moment that we had with him,” said friend Nate Martinez. “And every time we were with him, it was just a memory that was made."

John was a guard and sometimes power forward for South Grand Prairie High School. He was about to begin his senior year. He collapsed and died Tuesday in Reading, Pennsylvania, at Albright College while playing at a basketball camp.

His family tells FOX 4 that the autopsy revealed that John suffered from Cardiomyopathy and died from an enlarged heart, a condition that was unknown to his parents and had not been previously diagnosed.

Cell phone video shows a vigil his friends had for Lee Wednesday night. Coaches, friends and parents shared memories, smiles and tears.

The South Grand Prairie High School cheerleading squad tweeted out a tribute to him offering their prayers and writing his jersey number 10 on their arms.

Alix Lanzafame says Lee's nickname for her was “mom.” She spoke with him right before he left for Pennsylvania.

"He was so excited. He was like, ‘Mom, I gotta go to sleep. I gotta get this good sleep and get up in the morning cause I gotta early flight.’ I said, ‘You're gonna do great!’ I said, ‘Good luck. I love you,’” she recalled. “I love him more than anything. And he was my friend that I had closest to family.”

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