Ex-Mission High School basketball player dies in drowning accident 

Stafone Jackson, a member of Mission High School’s 2010 Academic Athletic Association championship boys’ basketball team, died on a camping trip of an apparent drowning Aug. 2, according to Mission basketball coach Arnold Zelaya and a report in the Mountain Democrat.

Jackson, a 20-year-old who was entering his second year at UC Riverside, was on a camping trip with friends at the Union Valley Reservoir in North El Dorado.

According to the report, Jackson’s friends called local authorities to report the possible drowning at 12:45 p.m. Aug. 2. After initial search crews were unable to locate Jackson, his body was found roughly 150 feet offshore at 3:30 p.m.

“The swim was harder than they anticipated and after resting, the group began swimming back,” El Dorado County sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Byers told the Mountain Democrat. “Approximately halfway back, Jackson began yelling for help and quickly sank before his friends could get to him.”

A two-year varsity football player and three-year varsity basketball player at Mission, Jackson was playing rugby at UC Riverside.

He graduated at the top of his class at Mission and was volunteering at the Aim High youth program for the past two summers.

“[It’s] really tragic,” Zelaya said Monday. “[He’s] one of the greatest kids I’ve ever worked with. He was just an outstanding person.”

Preps sports coverage provided in partnership by The San Francisco Examiner and www.SanFranPreps.com.

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Jeremy Balan

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