A FORMER UCLA star has died after his family reported him missing.
Jalen Hill’s father confirmed the 22-year-old’s death on social media and shared a photo of Hill with a heartbreaking caption, Sports Illustrated reported.
“Our hearts are shaken and completely broken to announce to family and friends that our beloved son Jalen has passed away,” George Hill wrote on Instagram.
“Jalen went missing in Costa Rica and we recently learned of his passing. We realize that many will have questions, but we are unable to share details at this time.
“As we try to navigate this devastating time in our lives, we ask that you allow us time to grieve.”
According to Sports Illustrated, Hill was a recruit from Centennial High School and came to UCLA ahead of the 2017-18 season, where he made 77 career appearances.
Hill, Cody Riley and LiAngelo Ball were arrested for shoplifting in China before the Bruins’ season opener against Georgia Tech back in 2017.
The trio were under suspicion for their entire freshman year and Ball would eventually leave the team however Hill and Riley would return in 2018.
Hill spoke about it on social media last September.
“Ever since, from that point on, I’ve been really trying to get somewhere fast,” Hill said in a video posted to his Instagram.
“I’ve got a goal in mind and yeah, it’s a cool goal. A lot of people have that goal and I really tried to go super fast as if that would help at all.
He said that instead of making time for it, it really messed up his mental health and he wasn’t able to make time to enjoy his surroundings and the people around him.
“I missed out on the experiences I could have had if they were trying to rush and get to a place I really didn’t want to be.”
Friends, former teammates and colleagues spoke out about Hill following the news, including Etop Udo-Ema.
“I don’t know where to start. When we first met, when you still wore your glasses. To be a great player and young man at UCLA,” he said in a tweet.
“We’ve traveled all over the world together. Magic, UCLA, USA.”
The Den, UCLA’s official undergraduate department, shared a photo of Hill in the square with the caption: “RIP Jalen Hill.”
“I’m saddened to confirm that former UCLA basketball player Jalen Hill has passed away, his high school coach Josh Giles confirmed,” Ben Bolch, LA Times beat writer, told UCLA Twitter.
The US Sun has reached out to UCLA for comment.
Continue…Stay tuned to Sun Online for the latest news on this story.
The-sun.com is your one-stop shop for the best in celebrity news, sports news, real-life stories, stunning images and must-watch videos. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheSunUS and follow us from our main Twitter account at @TheUSSun.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6267434/jalen-hill-ucla-basketball-death-news/ Jalen Hill ‘dead at 22’: Tributes for UCLA basketball star flood Twitter and Instagram after he disappears in Costa Rica