A BASKETBALL player in Wisconsin died suddenly on Sunday night ‘playing the game he loved’.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is in mourning after Derek Gray’s unexpected death.
Gary was a promising student athlete who was majoring in criminology.
According to the university website, the freshman graduated from La Follette high school in Madison.
His ambition was to invest in real estate after graduation in spring 2024.
The college announced they would fly their flag at half-staff on Friday in memory.
UW-Whitewater Warhawks Athletics tweeted: “Warhawk Nation mourns the loss of Derek Gray, a student-athlete on the Warhawk men’s basketball team, who passed away unexpectedly on July 24th, 2022, playing the game he loved.”
UW-Whitewater Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ryan Callahan said: “Words cannot describe how we all feel about the loss of Derek.
“He was an amazing young man with a bright future. My heart goes out to his family and all that were fortunate enough to get to know Derek.”
Men’s basketball head coach Pat Miller added: “Our program is devastated by the loss of Derek Gray.
“Derek was beloved and respected by his teammates for his unique ability to develop meaningful connections with every individual throughout our program. He was an intelligent, compassionate, and inquisitive person by nature.
“I’ll forever cherish our long talks about life, community, basketball and the various issues of our day.
“As a basketball player, Derek led by example with a consistent work ethic and desire to always get better at the game he loved.
“He was a tenacious competitor and a dynamic athlete, that did everything possible to help ensure his team achieved success.
“He was both respected and valued by his teammates at a level few in our program have ever achieved.
“He’s left a legacy in our program that will be remembered and emulated by players for generations to come.
“I wish to extend my deepest condolences to his mother, Traci, as well as his entire family, friends and all that are grieving from this loss.”