Former Abbotsford Panthers star running back and 2018 Abbotsford Senior Secondary School graduate Samwel Uko has died at the age of 20.
Social media tributes for the athlete were being posted all weekend following the news of his passing on May 21.
The cause of death has not yet been released.
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Today we mourn the loss of one of Abbotsford Seniors own Samwel Uko. Since graduating in 2018, he became a successful football player for the @langleyrams Our heart goes out to Samwel’s family and friends during this trying time. Now more than ever it is important for us to check in on one another, and take care of each other. Samwel, you will always be remembered. ❤️🖤 🕊 Rest in Peace Samwel Uko 🕊
Uko played minor football for the Abbotsford Falcons, before starring on both the Abbotsford Panthers junior and senior varsity football teams. He helped the juniors win a provincial title in his Grade 10 year and led the seniors to the AA provincial final in his Grade 12 year. He was also named both the offensive most valuable player and the conference MVP in Grade 12.
He played one year with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and most recently played one season with the Langley Rams of the Canadian Junior Football League.
— Pantherfootball (@AbbyPanthers) May 23, 2018
A GoFundMe for the Uko family was created two days ago and has already surpassed its initial goal of $6,000.
A CBC Saskatchewan story posted on May 22 describes a man matching Uko’s description observed swimming and then later found dead in Wascana Lake in Regina. The lake is located near the University of Regina.
It has not yet been confirmed that the deceased man found at Wascana Lake was Uko, but it is believed that he was in Regina and possibly training for a return to the Huskies.
More to come.