Binghamton University student Calistus Anyichie, 19, died in an accidental drowning at Buttermilk Falls State Park on Sunday, according to a B-Line statement released Monday morning.
Anyichie, a rising sophomore majoring in political science, was a forward on the men’s basketball team. Originally from Nigeria, he graduated from St. Mary of the Assumption High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, before attending the University. He hoped to eventually become a diplomat, according to a statement from BU men’s basketball head coach Tommy Dempsey.
According to the Press & Sun-Bulletin, his body was found on Sunday evening at the base of a 15-foot gorge in the park, located near Ithaca.
“There are no words,” Dempsey said. “There is no blueprint for how to deal with such a painful loss. We all loved Calistus so much. He was such a special young man. We are devastated.”
Anyichie played in 32 games as a freshman, and was instrumental in the Bearcats’ win over Stony Brook in March during the America East playoffs, securing seven rebounds during the game. He finished the season as third on the team in blocks.
Patrick Elliott, director of athletics at the University, said his death was a “heartbreaking tragedy.”
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Calistus,” Elliott said. “Calistus was a bright and engaging young man with an infectious smile. He loved his academic studies at Binghamton and embodied the exceptional spirit of being a student-athlete at our university.”
Anyichie is the second BU student to die during the summer months. Clive Takudzwa Chakavarika, a senior majoring in integrative neuroscience, died in May in unknown circumstances days before he was set to graduate.
Campus officials are urging students and staff struggling with Anyichie’s death to reach out to the Dean of Students office and the CARE Team.