Zachary Winston, the younger brother of Michigan State basketball star Cassius Winston, died after being hit by a train in Albion, Michigan on Saturday night. He was 19 years old. According to Albion Public Safety chief Scott Kipp, Winston died by suicide after he stepped in front of an Amtrak train as it approached the crosswalk. Winston played on the Albion College basketball team and the school president released a statement on the incident.
"As a community, our hearts are broken today as we share the news of the passing of one of our students, Zachary Winston. Zach was a finance major, a student in the Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management, and member of the Albion College men’s basketball team. Beyond that, he was an extremely charismatic young man with an infectious smile, Albine College president Mauri Ditzler said.
"Zach was a recognized leader who was well known across every facet of our campus. He was a fantastic student with a world of potential before him. He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed."
Despite the passing of his brother, Cassius Winston played in Sunday's game against Binghamton and posted 17 points and 11 assists in a 100-47 win. Spartans head coach Tom Izzo learned the news early Sunday morning and spent several hours with the Winston family. He wasn't sure if Cassius was going to play in Sunday's game.
"I guess if I was to be honest, I expected him not to play, but everyone grieves a different way, and we left it 100 percent up to Cassius," Izzo said per ESPN. "His brothers are the world to him. I've never seen a kid over my years that was as close with his brothers. Zachary grew up around the team so much. He grew close to all the guys."
After the win, Cassius sent a message to his brother via Instagram.
"I love you bro, w everything I have in my entire body," Winston said as part of his post. I love you so much, if I could carry yo pain I would wear it on my shoulders just to see you happy and wouldn't think twice. I understand it was to much, I understand I really do and yo story won't end here. I can promise you that, the next time I run into someone in your situation ima save them, cause that's wha you would want me to do."
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.