US Water Polo Community Mourns Young Athletes


The US water polo community is again mourning the death of one of its young athletes.

One week after Dragon Kim and Justin Lee, two Orange County, CA boys, were killed by a falling tree while camping in Yosemite, Hayden Smith of Saline, MI perished after sustaining injuries in a head-on automobile accident west of Ann Arbor. Smith was 17 years old.

Smith’s father, William, confirmed Hayden’s passing via Facebook on Friday. The water polo community in Michigan and throughout the US quickly came to the youth’s support on social media after the accident took place on Thursday. A fund to support the family has been promoted by Ann Arbor’s Wolverine Water Polo Club.

Kim and Lee were “beloved players on the Northwood Club water polo team,” according to KCAL News.

“Both of them were great kids. Honestly, they were. They came to work out every single day, were really happy. They were really enthusiastic. Great teammates. All of their teammates would say the same thing. They just loved having them as part of the team and part of the program,” said the club’s Head Coach Steve Carrera.

Sources: Hayden Smith, Saline teen injured in car crash, dies |‘It’s Really Hard To Believe’ Says Water Polo Coach Of OC Teens Killed While Camping