Who is Jalen Hill

Who is Jalen Hill?

Jalen Hill was a former UCLA forward who spent four years with the Bruins from 2017 to 2021, redshirting his first year but playing in the next three.

Former UCLA basketball player Jalen Hill has died. He was 22 years old.

Hill’s father, George Hill, announced his death on Tuesday via Instagram.

Hill went missing in Costa Rica, he wrote, and his family only recently learned of his death. He didn’t go into any further detail.

“Our hearts are shattered and completely broken to inform family and friends that our beloved son, Jalen has passed away,” George Hill wrote on Instagram.

“Jalen went missing while in Costa Rica and we have recently learned of his passing.

Who is Jalen Hill

“We know Jalen has played a part in the lives of so many people. We also acknowledge the role that so many of you have played in his.

“We realize that many will have questions but we are unable to share any details at this time. As we try to navigate this devastating time in our lives, we ask that you please give us time to grieve.”

Josh Giles, Hill’s former coach at Corona California’s Centennial High School, later confirmed Hill’s death to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times.

“To hear something like this is next-level devastating,” Giles told the Times.

Hill played two-plus seasons with UCLA from 2018-21. A 6-foot-10 forward, he averaged 6.5 points and 6.4 rebounds in 70 games with the program. The team acknowledged Hill’s death on its Twitter account late Tuesday night.

Hill last played for the Bruins in January 2021 before sitting out a Feb. 6 game against USC for personal reasons, according to the program.

He never returned to UCLA and missed the team’s run to the Final Four that spring.

Hill announced his retirement from basketball in an Instagram video in April, citing anxiety and depression.

Who is Jalen Hill

“I just had to distance myself because the headspace I was in, it was damaging the team,” Hill said in the video while congratulating his teammates on their Final Four run. “So I didn’t want to restrict them from achieving their goals too.”

Hill, along with LiAngelo Ball and Cody Riley, was one of three UCLA basketball players arrested for shoplifting in China in 2017. He was a first-year student.

All three players were suspended for the remainder of the season. Hill returned to the Bruins in 2018 to play 33 games in the first of his two-plus active seasons. In his April 2021 video, he cited the arrest as a source of anxiety and depression.

“It started when I was arrested in China at 17. It was just a lot for me. I didn’t really want to open up or anything like that. It came up this past year and then this year — and then COVID happened and everything like that. It was just a lot for me. I had to step back.”

He added that when he took a step back, “it was a whole new life” and that “I never felt this happy before.”

Prior to joining UCLA, Hill was a four-star prospect at Centennial. He won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.