College Hoops Star-Turned News Anchor Found Dead At 27

College Hoops Star-Turned News Anchor Found Dead At 27

Neena Pacholke, a former point guard at University of South Florida (USF), was found dead in her home on Saturday at the age of 27. Her sister later confirmed that the cause of her death was suicide.

Pacholke was reportedly engaged and was working as a morning news anchor at WAOW, the Wausau, Wisconsin, ABC News affiliate — and according to a spokesperson for the Wausau Police Department, officers were dispatched to her home for a welfare check on Saturday morning. When there was no answer, they entered the home and found her deceased.

Pacholke’s older sister Kaitlynn, an assistant women’s basketball coach at Southern Mississippi, spoke with The Tampa Bay Times about her younger sibling — “by far the happiest person I thought I knew.”

“Sometimes you just don’t know what people are going through, no matter how much you think you know someone,” she said. “My sister had access to every resource you could imagine. She was loved by everybody. She was so good at her job … She just radiated love and positivity, and she just cared so much about pouring into other people, and always put other people first. I think she did that at the expense of not caring about herself.”

Pacholke’s colleagues shared their sympathy in a tweet from the station’s official account on Monday, saying, “We are absolutely devastated to share with you all that Neena passed away suddenly. Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts. Feel free to share any favorite memories or condolences in the comments below.”

We are absolutely devastated to share with you all that Neena passed away suddenly. Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts. Feel free to share any favorite memories or condolences in the comments below. https://t.co/yE9eamrjiW

— News 9 WAOW (@WAOW) August 29, 2022

“Sending love to Neena’s friends and family. Such a tragic loss. remember wherever and whoever you are, you are loved and worthy & your life matters. You can reach the suicide and crisis lifeline 24/7 by calling or texting 988. More resources here: https://namiga.org/crisis-info/,” Savannah Levins replied to the tweet.

“My heart just sank. I had the pleasure of meeting Neena during my time in NYC. She was such a bright light and extremely kind. Thoughts and prayers go out to all of her family, friends, and colleagues,” Amy Zimmer added.

Pacholke’s former team also offered condolences in a tweet, adding, “The Bulls are heartbroken to learn of the sudden loss of our beloved former teammate Neena Pacholke (2013-16). Our thoughts and prayers are with Neena and her family during this extremely difficult time.”

The Bulls are heartbroken to learn of the sudden loss of our beloved former teammate Neena Pacholke (2013-16). Our thoughts and prayers are with Neena and her family during this extremely difficult time. pic.twitter.com/kMDyBZVsOG

— USF W. Basketball (@USFWBB) August 29, 2022

Pacholke was part of two teams that made it to the NCAA tournament.

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

America