Jalen Hill, a former UCLA basketball player, died in Costa Rica this week. The cause of death of the 22-year-old is still unknown.
News of Hill’s death came Tuesday from his father, who took to Instagram to announce his son’s death and stated that the family would not be releasing any further information at this time, KCBS-TV reported.
“Our hearts are shattered and completely broken … We realize there will be many questions, but we are unable to share details at this time,” Hill’s father’s post read, according to KCBS.
“We know that Jalen has played a role in the lives of so many people. We also recognize the role that so many of you have played in his. As we try to navigate this devastating time in our lives, we ask that you give us time to grieve,” his family said in an Instagram post, ESPN reported.
His family said Hill disappeared in Costa Rica before he was found dead, but no further details are known at this time.
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With Hill’s death, many coaches and those who knew him throughout his basketball career thought of him.
UCLA coach Mick Cronin posted on Twitter remembering Hill and mourning his loss.
The news of Jalen Hill’s death is heartbreaking. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. Jalen was a warm young man with a great smile who left us way too soon. pic.twitter.com/YK69T7r91B
— Mick Cronin (@CoachMickCronin) September 21, 2022
“The news of Jalen Hill’s death is heartbreaking. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. Jalen was a warm young man with a great smile who left us way too soon,” Cronin tweeted.
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UCLA Men’s Basketball also tweeted to announce and commemorate Hill’s death.
“Our program is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former student-athlete Jalen Hill. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time,” the tweet read.
Our program is deeply saddened by the passing of former student-athlete Jalen Hill. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/JOURHjh9NU
— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) September 21, 2022
As of 2017, Hill played forward center for UCLA, CBS News reported.
However, Hill was suspended for the entire 2017-18 season after he was arrested along with two of his teammates LiAngelo Ball and Cody Riley for shoplifting in Shanghai, China. The team was in China for the season opener against Georgia Tech, KABC-TV reported.
But after the suspension, Hill played through the 2020-21 season and then decided to retire for personal reasons, CBS News reported.
After the 2020-21 season, he announced in an Instagram video that he was planning to retire from playing due to the depression and anxiety he was experiencing, ESPN reported.
During his time at UCLA, Hill played in 77 games and averaged 6.5 points and 6.4 rebounds, KCBS reported.
Hill was also a native Californian, raised in Corona, just outside of Los Angeles, KABC reported.
He played basketball in high school at Corona Centennial High and is fondly remembered there, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Just a really good kid, had a great smile. He was a great basketball player, but I just loved him as a person,” Josh Giles, Hill’s former coach at Corona Centennial High, told the Times.
The news of Hill’s death hit Giles hard.
“I’m so stunned, I don’t even have an emotion at the moment. It’s devastating to hear that,” Giles said.
https://www.westernjournal.com/next-level-devastating-recent-ucla-basketball-player-found-dead-costa-rica-age-22/ Recent UCLA Basketball Player Found Dead in Costa Rica at Age 22