The Instagram photos of Jalen Hill’s mother and father confirm that the former UCLA basketball forward passed away on Tuesday at 22. George Hill wrote online that the family learned of Hill’s death a few days after he went missing in Costa Rica. Hill’s high school coach, Josh Giles, confirmed his death to LA Times reporter Ben Bolch.
Hill, a guard who had joined the Bruins in 2017 after graduating from Corona (Calif.) Centennial High School announced his basketball retirement in a video on YouTube in 2021. Hill said I had to put space between us because my mental state was hurting us. I didn’t want to impede their success, either.
I departed for personal reasons unrelated to the team, (Mick) Cronin, or the coaches. For the record, I was the one who said it. I struggled greatly with both anxiety and sadness. At the age of 17, I was detained in China. My feelings were hurt, and I didn’t feel like expressing them. It first surfaced, then again this year, and finally, COVID occurred. I needed some space; it was too much for me.
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In 2020-21, Hill played in 15 games, averaging 6.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 17.3 minutes per game on 55.6% shooting from the field and 67.4% from the charity stripe. Because of tendonitis in his knee, he had to sit out the first two games of the season.
He claimed he waited until after the Bruins’ NCAA Tournament run was underway before making the news. It was beautiful to see, and I’m pleased beyond words to have any connection with you. It was inspiring to witness real warriors like you all. Also, Coach Cronin has my utmost regard as a coach. We can officially declare that individual to be the greatest of all time.
I’ve tried to explain it to you previously, but no one seemed interested in hearing me out. Okay, so I think you get it now. This came as no surprise to me, as I had anticipated it. Hill was rated the No. 73 overall high school prospect, the No. 17 power forward, and the No. 9 overall prospect in California.
The decision to retire was “like starting a new life,” Hill remarked. I’ve never in my entire life been this content. I woke up and was relieved to find that I was still there. That’s absurd even to think it, but it’s the truth. Trying to revert to a previous life in which I was conforming to someone else’s expectations of me and their vision for how my life should go made it difficult for me to return to the team and embrace my true self.
Being genuine is the most acceptable present you can give to another person. And I was acting in ways that were not natural to me. With everything that has been going well for me recently, I just couldn’t turn back after I realized that. The choice I made was the right one.”
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