Ex-USF Women's Basketball Player Neena Pacholke Found Dead At 27

A Wisconsin morning news anchor and former college basketball player died suddenly Saturday at age 27 in an apparent suicide. News of WAOW anchor Neena Pacholke’s death left her family and colleagues stunned, and she was remembered for her contagious smile and happy-go-lucky demeanor.

“Neena Pacholke, our beloved morning anchor passed away suddenly Saturday,” 9 WAOW said in a statement. “The entire team here at News 9 are absolutely devastated by the loss as we know so many others are as well.”

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Pacholke, who grew up in Tampa and played basketball for the University of South Florida, was engaged to be married at the time of her death, her older sister Kaitlynn Pacholke told Tampa Bay Times.

“She was just like a little ball of sunshine, and her smile was massive,” Kaitlynn Pacholke said Monday morning. “My sister was by far the happiest person I thought I knew.”

Jose Fernandez, head coach of the USF women’s basketball team, said the organization was “devastated” over Pacholke’s death. “Our prayers are with the Pacholke family during this extremely difficult time. Please keep them in your thoughts,” Fernandez said in a statement posted to Twitter.