Jalen Hill, former UCLA men's basketball player, dies at 22

Jalen Hill, former UCLA men’s basketball player, dies at 22

Former UCLA men’s basketball player Jalen Hill has died at the age of 22. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

Former UCLA basketball player Jalen Hill has died. He was 22 years old.

Hill’s father, George Hill, initially announced her death in an Instagram post on Tuesday. He wrote that Hill disappeared in Costa Rica and that the family recently learned of his death. He did not provide further details.

“Our hearts are shattered and completely broken to inform family and friends that our beloved son, Jalen, has passed away,” George Hill wrote on Instagram. “Jalen disappeared while in Costa Rica and we recently learned of his passing.

“We know that Jalen has played a role in the lives of so many people. We also acknowledge the role that many of you have played in yours.

“We realize that many will have questions, but we are unable to share any details at this time. As we try to navigate this devastating time in our lives, we ask that you give us time to grieve.”

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times later confirmed Hill’s death with his former coach at Centennial High School in Corona California, Josh Giles.

“Hearing something like this is devastating to the next level,” Giles told the Times.

Hill played more than two seasons with UCLA between 2018 and 2021. A 6-10 forward, he averaged 6.5 points and 6.4 rebounds in 70 games with the program. The team acknowledged Hill’s death on its Twitter account Tuesday night.

Hill last played for the Bruins in January 2021 before missing a Feb. 6 game against USC with the show citing personal reasons. He did not play for UCLA again and missed the team’s run to the Final Four that spring.

Hill announced in April in an Instagram video that he was retiring from basketball, citing anxiety and depression.

“I just had to distance myself because the headspace I was in was hurting the team,” Hill said in the video as he congratulated his teammates on their Final Four run. “So I didn’t want to restrict them from achieving their goals as well.”

Hill was one of three UCLA basketball players arrested for shoplifting in China in 2017 along with LiAngelo Ball and Cody Riley. He was a freshman. All three players were suspended for the season. Hill returned in 2018 to play 33 games for the Bruins in the first of his more than two active seasons. He cited the arrest as a source of his anxiety and depression in his April 2021 video.

“It started when I was arrested in China at 17 years old. It was a lot for me. I really didn’t want to open up or anything like that. It came up last year and then this year, and then Covid happened and all that. It was a lot for me. I had to take a step back.”

She added that when she stepped back, “it was a whole new life” and that she had “never felt so happy before.”

Before joining UCLA, Hill was a four-star prospect at Centennial. He won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2015 FIBA ​​Americas U16 Championship.

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