American basketball player Jalen Hill, who played four seasons representing the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), passed away after several days missing in Costa Rica.
This was reported by the Los Angeles Times. Similarly, Hill’s family, through a post on Instagram, asking for privacy to go through the loss of the 22 year old, without sharing more information regarding the death.
“We know that Jalen has played a role in so many people’s lives. We also recognize the role that so many of you have played in yours. As we try to navigate this devastating time in our lives, we ask that you please give us time to mourning. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, “read part of the letter published by the family.
Hill retired in the spring of 2021 due to suffering from anxiety and depression.
“I said to myself, ‘no, I need to take a break’. It was a difficult decision to make, but once I knew what I had to do, it was not difficult. I realized that it will help me,” said the athlete in an earlier interview with the Los Angeles Times.
In his career with UCLA Hill averaged 6.5 points per game and 6.4 rebounds in 77 games, playing primarily as a center and power forward.
Off the basketball court, the American found himself in the middle of an international scandal when, during a tour of his university in China, he was arrested along with two teammates for stealing from an eyewear store.
Those who knew Jalen described him as a “good guy” with a “big heart,” as UCLA coach Mick Cronin noted in a statement.
“The news of the death of Jalen Hill it’s heartbreaking. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time. Jalen was a young man with a big heart and a big smile that has left us too soon,” he said.