A Ghanian student who had resettled in California and was nearing the stereotypical American dream died tragically on Saturday when the kayak he rented capsized in San Diego’s Mission Bay and he was unable to recover.
As reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune and San Diego ABC affiliate KGTV, among other outlets, 17-year-old Abdul Razak Shanun was discovered under 25 feet of water on Sunday morning, a day after he sank while attempting to kayak in Mission Bay. According to reports, the 6-foot-8 power forward prospect who was being recruited by a handful of West Coast programs did not know how to swim and was either wearing his life preserver incorrectly or not at all.
As soon as word of Shanun’s tragic death leaked out tributes began pouring in for the African emigrant who arrived in the United States in 2012 and quickly made an impact.
Here’s how one person who helped house the teen remembered him to the Union-Tribune:
“Abdul’s engaging personality, character, work ethic and dedication is how we will remember him. He genuinely touched an entire community,” said Steve Becvar, whose son played with Abdul and whose family helped house him in San Diego. “Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to his family in Ghana. Abdul was clearly the product of a strong upbringing.”
Users across social media were equally somber at the news of Shanun’s passing.