A Lenoir-Rhyne University student drowned late Monday afternoon while swimming with college friends in Lake Hickory, school officials and Catawba County authorities said.
Vince Njoku, a 19-year-old freshman from Woodstock, Ga., had gone to Geitner-Rotary Park to celebrate the end of the school year, authorities said.
Officials said friends report Njoku jumped into the water about 5:30 p.m. but did not come back up. Rescue crews arrived a few minutes later, and divers found the student’s body about 6:45 p.m. in 13 feet of water.
Njoku was majoring in computer science, according to the school. He was a member of the football team that reached the national championship game last year. Head football coach Ian Shields issued a statement, saying Njoku was a loved teammate and will be missed on the campus.
The university said it will have grief counselors available to meet with students and staff on Tuesday. Katie Fisher, Lenoir-Rhyne’s dean of students, said those in need of help can go to the Cornerstone Center on campus.
Njoku was a 2013 graduate of River Ridge High School near Atlanta.
Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less