Former UCLA forward Jalen Hill has died, his family and high school coach say

No matter the circumstances, Jalen Hill could break out in a wide grin that made those around him feel everything was going to be all right.

Just a really good kid, had a great smile,” said Josh Giles, his coach at Corona Centennial High before Hill went on to become a starting forward-center at UCLA. “He was a great basketball player, but I just loved him as a person.”

Hill made international headlines before his first college game, becoming part of the trio of Bruins involved in a shoplifting spree in China that led to seasonlong suspensions.

He made 02no excuses, accepting blame and becoming a valued member of the team for nearly four seasons before retiring in the spring of 2021 because of anxiety and depression.

Former UCLA forward Jalen Hill has died, his family and high school coach say

For UCLA’s Jalen Hill, a sport surrenderewd meant a crushing burden lifted April 10, 2021

Hill, 22, died recently after going missing in Costa Rica, his family wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday. Giles confirmed the news to The Times after exchanging text messages with George Hill, Jalen’s father.