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Grandville hockey player dies from enlarged heart

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (NEWSHANNEL 3) - We are learning sad news Friday out of Grandville High School in Kent County.

The death of a star athlete shortly before his team was set to play an important game.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association says Grandville High School star hockey player Ryan Fischer died Friday morning just hours before he was expected to lead his team to the state semi-final tournament.

The association announced that they were deeply saddened to hear news of Fischer's passing.

The Grandville High School Varsity Hockey Team also posted on their Facebook page that Fischer died very unexpectedly.

He was the captain of the hockey team and one of eight students in the state to receive a MHSAA student-athlete award this year.

"Our staff enjoyed knowing Ryan as an engaging member of the MHSAA Student Advisory Council for two years, and we grieve his loss with the entire Grandville Community," said Jack Roberts, MHSAA Executive Director.     

Grandville hockey is scheduled to play in the state semi-final game Friday night.

They say Fischer's family and the school have made a decision that the game will still be played as scheduled.

The Grand Rapids Griffins also say they will be holding a moment of silence to honor Fischer before Friday night's game. That will occur before the playing of the National Anthem.

The Assistant Medical Examiner in Kent County, Dr. David Start, tells Newschannel 3 that Fischer died from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, essentially an enlarged heart.

Dr. Start says that is similar to what caused the death of Fennville basketball player Wes Leonard three years ago.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy can be genetic, but it can be developed.

Newschannel 3 is continuing to follow developments and will bring you more details Friday night at 5:00 and 6:00.