UW-Whitewater mourns loss of student athlete from La Follette HS
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - University of Wisconsin- Whitewater is mourning the loss of one of its student athletes Tuesday night.
The university’s athletic department posted on Twitter that basketball team guard Derek Gray died unexpectedly on Sunday “playing the game he loved.”
Gray was majoring in criminology and wanted to invest in real estate after he graduated, according to the university website.
Gray was also a graduate of La Follette High School in Madison. Cullen Haskins, the assistant principal at La Follette, extended his condolences on behalf of the school and said his demeanor on and off the court would be missed.
“Derek was a giant of La Follette basketball and Lancer athletics, and was at his best in the toughest games and most challenging moments,” Haskins said. “He was a true ‘gamer.’ His toughness and tenacity on the court will always be remembered, and his kindness and smile off the court forever missed.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up by the UW-Whitewater Men’s Basketball Tip-Off Club to go toward his funeral expenses.
Full statement from La Follette High School Asst. Principal Cullen Haskins:
On behalf of Principal Mat Thomspon and all Lafollette High School Staff, it is with a profound sense of sadness that the La Follette community mourns the unexpected loss of former Lancer, Derek Gray. Derek was a giant of La Follette basketball and Lancer athletics, and was at his best in the toughest games and most challenging moments. He was a true “gamer”. His toughness and tenacity on the court will always be remembered, and his kindness and smile off the court forever missed. As a well known student-athlete and basketball standout, his presence and impact on the La Follette community was far-reaching. His life, both on and off the court, had an enormous impact on all those who knew him. As we process this tremendous loss for our community, we ask you to join us in keeping Derek’s friends, teammates, and family in our thoughts.
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