Former UCLA Basketball Player Jalen Hill Dies at Age 22

Adam WellsSeptember 21, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: UCLA Bruins forward Jalen Hill (24) walks back up the court during the game between the Stanford Cardinal and the UCLA Bruins on January 15, 2020, at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by David Dennis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
David Dennis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former UCLA forward Jalen Hill has died at the age of 22.

Josh Giles, Hill's former head coach at Corona Centennial High, confirmed the news to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times.

According to Bolch, Hill's family wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday that he died after going missing in Costa Rica.

"We know Jalen has played a part in the lives of so many people," the family's Instagram post said. "We also acknowledge the role that so many of you have played in his. As we try to navigate this devastating time in our lives, we ask that you please give us time to grieve. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers."

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin provided a statement to Bolch: "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 great smile who has left us far too soon."

Hill was a 247Sports 4-star prospect coming out of Corona Centennial High School in 2017. He committed to UCLA in 2015, two years before graduating high school.

The California native only appeared in 14 games as a redshirt junior in 2020-21. He left the program midway through the season.

In a video message posted on Instagram in April 2021 (h/t USA Today's Steve Gardner), Hill revealed he stopped playing basketball due to "a bunch of anxiety and depression problems" and feeling pressure "trying to live up to somebody’s perception of how my life should be instead of just being who I am."

According to Bolch, Hill recently said he "adopted measures to help his mental state such as meditation and being open about his troubles with family and friends."

After not playing in his first season with the Bruins, Hill played a key role primarily off the bench in 2018-19. He averaged 4.3 points and ranked second on the team with 6.0 rebounds per game in 30 appearances.

Hill started a career-high 25 games during the 2019-20 campaign. He led the Bruins in rebounding (6.9 per game) and ranked second in scoring (9.0).