Tough Owls grieve in first-round playoff loss

By Marc Raimondi

Adrian Simpson, a 6-foot-4 junior forward for the Owls, died of heart failure last Thursday doing what he loved most – playing basketball. The East Elmhurst teen's funeral will be Monday at St. Mark's at 33-50 82nd Street in Jackson Heights. There will be a viewing between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and a funeral service between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m, according to Demas, the Owls' longtime coach.Bryant, playing in its first game since Simpson died, fell on the road to Lehman, 81-77, Tuesday night in a PSAL Class AA playoffs outbracket game. The Owls were down by 10 with less than two minutes left, but were able to get back into the game and almost complete the miraculous comeback.”Obviously,” Demas said, “we wanted to win the game for him.”Owls players honored Simpson by wearing black tape on their arms and the team's managers wore his No. 4 on their shirts. On Monday, the first day back from break, Simpson's teammates saw grief counselors to help cope with their loss.”The kids are taking it very difficultly,” Demas said. “Obviously, the team is thinking of him all the way. This is the first time we were together as a team since it happened.”David Greene contributed to this story.

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