UH Warrior has drownedUPDATED 9:09 PM HST Nov 30, 2013Video Transcript
Young. Students and faculty are mourning the loss of UH football player Willis Wilson... He died in the waters off Sandy Beach earlier today. KITV4 was there as the frantic search was launched for the Warrior running back. Jill Kuramoto has todays top story. Honolulu Fire Department's search and rescue crews were called to Sandys at 4:30 this morning. Friends of 21-year-old Willis Wilson told officials they were playing along the beach in the water when they noticed Wilson was missing. 16:17 HE REPORTEDLY WAS AT THE WATERS EDGE MAYBE UP TO ABOUT KNEE DEEP.16:24 AND BEING AT SANDY BEACH WHICH IS NOTORIUS FOR BODY SURFING AND STRONG CURRENTS, MAYBE HE GOT OVERWHELME D BY THE SURF. 16:33 Wilson was a running back... A walk-on who transferred from the University of Washington. This is Wilson - wearing number 20 -- at Lakes High School in Lakewood Washington where he was an all-state running back and the South Puget Sound League's offensive player of the year as a senior. He hadn't played in any UH games this season and wasn't with the players who stayed at a Waikiki hotel prior to tonight's game against Army. The search for Wilson was by air, land and sea. The Coast Guard was called in to assist in the search around 6am. A few minutes after divers joined in the search and about 2 hours after the initial call for help ... Is when Wilson's body was found underwater near the area known as Gas Chambers. NATS SOUND 26:03 FAMILY Distraught family and friends didn't want to talk on camera but told us Willis Wilson was well-liked and loved to have fun. Gfx here The words echoed by Head football coach Norm Chow who said in a statement they were saddened by his passing and that "He was a very fun-loving young man, who was well-liked by his teammates. "an exciting football player who came to us from the University of Washington whom we felt would help us at running back. He overcame some obstacles in his life and he was the perfect lesson to our team to never quit. Our thoughts and prayers are with Willis' family during this difficult time." For now... Wilson's death is being classified as an unattended death. Wilson had planned to major in theatre and communicology, formerly known as speech. And he was a second generation Warrior. His father, Jack Wilson, Jr. played football at UH in the 80's.