Tue Mar 15 09:03am EDT
Though the Fennville (Mich.) High boys basketball team's fairy tale ride through the Michigan state tournament came to a crashing halt on Monday evening, the feel-good story of a town's -- and, for the most part, a nation's -- rapturous support of its team in the midst of tragedy continues to capture the American psyche.
The latest chapter in that tale is as heartwarming as any, revealed when Wes Leonard's parents finally spoke to the media following the team's departure from the Michigan state tournament. According to the Associated Press, Gary and Jocelyn Leonard have filled the void in their family in part by the presence of members of the Fennville basketball team. Different members of the team have slept at the Leonard house each night since Wes Leonard's death, helping keep the family company while they adjust to life without their oldest son.
"They don't want us to be alone," Jocelyn Leonard told the Associated Press. "Their families have loaned them to us. They sleep on the floor because I can't let anyone in his room.
"We couldn't get through it without everybody helping us."
While the Fennville team's run to the playoffs brought a bit of sad news to the Leonard family on Monday, they received much more important positive news earlier in the day, with Wes Leonard's younger brother Mitchell receiving a clean bill of health from a cardiologist.
Meanwhile, Leonard's family said they plan to be involved in future prevention efforts geared at helping other teenagers scan for and avoid the heart defects which eventually led to their son's demise.
"We're going to do something about prevention," Jocelyn Leonard said.
More on Fennville and Wes Leonard:
• Fennville wins district title, celebrates with Wes Leonard's family
• Fennville advances in first game without fallen star Wes Leonard
• Wes Leonard inspires as Michigan team reaches district title game
• Prep star hits game winning shot for perfect season, falls and dies