Former UCLA forward Jalen Hill has died after going missing in Costa Rica, his family announced late Tuesday night. He was 22.
“We know that Jalen has played a role in many people’s lives,” the Instagram post read. “We also recognize the role that many of you played in his life. As we try to get through this devastating time in our lives, we ask that you give us time to grieve. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.”
The four-star recruit was suspended for the 2017-18 season along with Liangelo Ball and Cody Riley for shoplifting in China. Hill played three seasons for the Bruins and retired during his junior season in 2021, citing depression and anxiety. He said he found happiness almost immediately after taking a step back from basketball.
“It was a whole new life,” Hill said in 2021. – I have never felt so happy before in my life. I’m just waking up and I’m just happy to be alive. And that sounds crazy to say, but it’s just the truth.”
Hill’s family reported that he had been missing for several days.
“The news of Jalen Hill’s passing is heartbreaking. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. Jalen was a warm-hearted young man with a wonderful smile who left us far too soon,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said in a statement.