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Former USF Guard Neena Pacholke's Cause of Death is Revealed

Neena Pacholke, a news anchor and former college basketball player, died by suicide over the weekend, her sister, Kaitlynn Pacholke, confirmed in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times on Monday.

“My sister was by far the happiest person I thought I knew,” said Kaitlynn, who was teammates with her sister at Freedom High School and currently works as an assistant women's basketball coach at Southern Mississippi. “Sometimes you just don’t know what people are going through, no matter how much you think you know someone. ... My sister had access to every resource you could imagine. She was loved by everybody. She was so good at her job.”

Pacholke, 27, lettered three seasons at USF (2013-16) before a career in news, having recently worked as a weekday-morning news anchor at WAOW, an ABC television affiliate in Wausau, Wisconsin.

“The entire team here at News 9 are absolutely devastated by the loss as we know so many others are as well," the news station said in a statement shared on its verified Twitter account. "Neena loved this community and the people who lived here. She was a kind person with a big heart and a contagious smile and we will miss her greatly.”

Longtime USF coach Jose Fernandez said the program was "devastated and deeply saddened" by news of Pacholke's death in a text message to the Tampa Bay Times.

Pacholke was engaged to be married at the time of her death and is survived by her parents, sister and fiancé.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, reach out to the 24–hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255; contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741; or chat with someone online at The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay can be reached by dialing 211 or by visiting

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