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Wes Leonard: enlarged heart killed HS athlete

Fennville, Mich.. - A Michigan high school basketball star who collapsed on the court after making a game-winning shot deceased with an enlarged heart, according to the medical examiner.

Dr. David A. Start forensic pathologist in Kent County, Michigan, Wes Leonard ruled cause of death of a cardiac arrest due to dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart), the pathology department at the hospital where the medical examiner told CBS News to be working.

Leonard, a star athlete at Fennville High, deceased Thursday. Paramedics performed CPR on the 16-year-old before he was pronounced dead in hospital, Holland Hospital spokeswoman Deb Patterson said.

Leonard's family told CBS News that the 16-year-old had no known previous cardiac disease.

"This was a total shock," the family said. "He was" like a man and such an athletic guy, seemingly in perfect condition. " According to CBS News partner WebMD, dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart is able to to pump blood is decreased because the main pumping chamber of the heart, the left ventricle is enlarged and weakened.

CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said that the condition, which may be inherited or acquired, could have followed a virus or the cause may be unknown.

Many in Fennville High told CBS affiliate WWMT that Leonard was in the best shape of his athletic life, although they say he may have recently had the flu.

Dr. Laura Martin of WebMD notes that significant shortness of breath and heart failure usually those with dilated cardiomyopathy. She adds the condition is not always associated with a heart murmur and may not necessarily be picked up at the health screen, unless the patient is symptomatic.

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