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Former USF PG Neena Pacholke Dies by Suicide at Age 27

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2022

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Former South Florida women's basketball player Neena Pacholke died last weekend by suicide, her sister confirmed to Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times.

She was 27.

“Sometimes you just don’t know what people are going through, no matter how much you think you know someone. ... My sister had access to every resource you could imagine. She was loved by everybody. She was so good at her job," Kaitlynn Pacholke, Neena's older sister, said.

USF W. Basketball @USFWBB

The Bulls are heartbroken to learn of the sudden loss of our beloved former teammate Neena Pacholke (2013-16). Our thoughts and prayers are with Neena and her family during this extremely difficult time. <a href="https://t.co/kMDyBZVsOG">pic.twitter.com/kMDyBZVsOG</a>

The Wausau (Wisconsin) Police Department said it was called to Neena's home Saturday to perform a wellness check but did not receive an answer at the door. When officers made their way into her home, Pacholke was found dead.

She had been working as a television anchor for News 9 in Wisconsin and was engaged to be married.

"The entire team here at News 9 are absolutely devastated by the loss as we know so many others are as well," the station said in a statement. "Neena loved this community and the people who lived here. She was a kind person with a big heart and a contagious smile and we will miss her greatly."

Pacholke played for South Florida from 2013 to 2016, a span that saw the Bulls make the NCAA tournament twice.

USF coach Jose Fernandez told Knight the program was "devastated and saddened" by Pacholke's death.

If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 for 24/7 access to a trained counselor. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting "HOME" to 741741. For more information about ongoing support and mental health resources, contact the HelpLine at the National Alliance on Mental Illness by calling 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or emailing info@nami.org.

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