Raphael Alcoreza, the Surrey basketball player who collapsed during a game last week, has died in hospital.
Alcoreza, a Grade 12 student at Panorama Ridge Secondary, went into cardiac arrest during a game at Holy Cross Regional High School on Nov. 28.
The six-foot-one guard was rushed to hospital, not long after he told coaches he felt dizzy and lightheaded while at the bench.
His principal, Kevin De Boice, was at Royal Columbian Hospital when Alcoreza died, at about 10 p.m. Thursday with his family by his side.
“Not only that —I would say when I got up there, because I was doing a bunch of stuff at the school to get ready, because we knew he was going to pass, to get ready for today’s eventuallity of counselling and support services we set up at school. When I got there, I would suggest there was probably 125 people in the halls, on his account, at ICU.”
“It was just packed with people,” De Boice said.
“He was the youngest, the third kid that has gone through this school,” De Boice said. “Raph was the last one, just an all-round nice kid. he was in athletic community, he was in the Filipino community. There are so many communities rather that Panorama Ridge, which is big enough on its own. He was one of those kids that’s liked by everybody. He wanted to play, one day, professional basketball in the Phillipines, he wanted to be a fireman. He had aspirations, and was a team leader.”
Late Thursday and early today, several posts on Twitter responded to Alcoreza’s death.
Such tragic news on the passing of Panorama Ridge student athlete Raphael Alcoreza. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all his family and friends.— NWSS_Athletics (@NWSSAthletics) December 8, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Alcoreza and the Panorama family on this sad day. RIP Raphael Alcoreza basketball world lost today #22— SLSS Basketball (@SLSSBasketball) December 8, 2017
On Tuesday (Dec. 5), a page on gofundme.com called “Support Raphael Alcoreza’s Family” was posted by Alumni Basketball, and raised nearly $14,000 in 20 hours.
“Reaching our goal for the Alcoreza family within hours shows the power our community has,” posted the unidentified administrator of the page. “We are astounded at the amount of love and support that’s being given to Raphael right now.”
The medical emergency happened during an early-season exhibition game between Alcoreza’s Thunder squad and Holy Cross Crusaders, at the latter team’s gym on 88th Avenue. The game was postponed after the incident, which happened in the first period.
Alcoreza wore jersey No. 22 for the Thunder, and was pictured holding the ball, front and centre, in a recent team photo.
More to come.