Almost two months after the tragic sudden demise of a promising teenage basketball player during a game, the autopsy and cause of death was finally revealed to her family.
Ramir Nuestro, father of a 16 years-old sophomore student of Homestead High school in Cupertino Kimberly Nuestro who collapsed in the middle of her basketball game at Mission College in Santa Clara admitted having had mixed emotions after getting the results of the autopsy on his daughter’s death.
“We finally got the autopsy report on Kimberley. The cause of death of our girl was heart arrhythmia caused by gene mutations which is considered rare,” Ramir disclosed who evidently is still in mourning. “The doctors are strongly advising my wife and I together with our three children to get our blood tested. We sincerely hope that this was unique with Kimberley, something that she developed growing up. My wife and I already had our blood drawn and the results would probably be known before the end of July. The children will be next as we are ready to do everything to make sure that we are all aware of the things we need to know to avoid what happened to Kimberley.”
Nevertheless, Ramir was somewhat consoled that the condition that led to her death was not due to playing basketball, the game she loved playing the most..
“We feel a bit better that the cause of her death is not in being sporty, not in playing basketball. We were told that others who also suffer from this rare disease may not show symptoms and may even die while sleeping certainly not the same as what happened to Kimberley who was even active when tragedy struck.”
It would be recalled that valuable player Kimberly was playing her second game on May 7 when n the middle of the game she collapsed after going for a loose ball. Photo:
Although Kimberley may have been accidentally pushed from behind that caused her to fall and hit her head on the floor, the result of the autopsy did not indicate that loose ball struggle was the reason that she collapsed as she got up at once after that.
She then wass able to convince her coach to put her back into the game but less than a minute after, she felt her chest, went to the sidelines, sat down then fell again. Then they tried to revive her shortly even before the 911 paramedics came while she remained unconscious and appeared to be losing breath already on the way to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
Kimberley had to be flown later by helicopter to Stanford University Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.
Ramir described Kimberly as a simple girl, very kind who dreamt big to be a Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), probably would have been the first Filipina to do so; a straight A student in school, a close silent friend of her classmates, captain ball for her team, was an MVP for Homestead High School last season and also in other tournaments as well,
“Sweet child to everyone who has a face with a ready smile, who occasionally cracks a joke or two, who always helps her mom particularly in the household chores, loves her siblings, and small kids, close to her sister Mikayla, had many friends something they did not expect for one who used to be silent. This was Kimberly, an almost perfect child any parent would ask for and who is loved by many,” Ramir gushed.
An ardent fan of Golden State Warriors (GSW) star player Steph Curry whom she adored immensely as a role-model together with his wife Ayesha, her idol for cooking dishes, Kimberley does not even think of having a boyfriend apart from Curry.
“She has always been athletic who started playing basketball without any prodding when she was in fourth grade and always has that ready smile win or lose in a game that boosts her team and teammates in the process. She herself would ask me to go meet in the gym for practices that she even does at home to improve on her dribbling skills,” added Ramir.
It was no wonder then that Kimberly would have as one of her few lifelong wishes to have her rubber shoes signed by Curry himself something that Curry readily obliged and even put in good words for her after.
“This is obviously an unfortunate situation for her family. I heard her story, how much she loved basketball, how much she loved watching us play. For her family to have the support of your school of the community around her but also from the Warriors organization to hopefully give them some support and to hopefully get through this situation as best they can,” stated Curry in an interview with school paper The Epitaph. ““I wish I could have met [Nuestro] before she passed. But this is a small token for her family, to I guess know that there’s a lot of people thinking about them, [to help them] with what they’re going through and to hopefully honor her life with those shoes.”
Aside from father Ramir, Kimberly was survived by mother Jeannie sisters Mikayla, and April and youngest only brother Markus.
NBA Champions Golden State Warriors ace player Steph Curry wished that he could have met Kimberly Nuestro before she passed and signed her shoes as she wished to “hopefully honor her life with those shoes.”
Kimberly Nuestro, in her shooting form, was a healthy young athlete who was so passionate with basketball she aspired to be the first Filipina WNBA player and win the most valuable player to boot.
In one of their happier times, Kimberly (extreme left) is joined by (left to right) sister Mikayla, mother Jeannie, father Ramir, and siblings April and Markus, her youngest brother.
(all pictures sent by Nuestro family)