Nicholas Moya, a Penn senior who served as a data analyst for the Penn men’s basketball team, died Thursday, the Daily Pennsylvanian reported Friday. noting in an additional report the following day an obituary that cited Moya’s “long battle with depression.”
Moya, who was 21 years old, is likely the fourteenth Penn student since February 2013 to die by suicide, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian, which further noted that Moya’s family requested that mourners donate to the Kyle Ambrogi Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting education and awareness of depression and suicide prevention.
Donations to the Kyle Ambrogi Foundation can be made here.
Like Moya, Kyle Ambrogi was a 21-year-old senior at Penn when he committed suicide, on Oct. 10, 2005.
Ambrogi was a standout football player at Penn and took his own life two days after notching two rushing touchdowns in a 53-7 victory over Bucknell at Franklin Field.
Ambrogi’s mother Donna and brother Greg founded the foundation in 2009 to promote depression awareness, and I got to cover them for a feature focusing on that foundation’s efforts as a reporter for the Daily Pennsylvanian in 2014.
In the spring of that year, Greg Ambrogi, a Penn football alum, and Penn men’s basketball alum Justin Reilly were forging a mentoring network of Penn athlete alumni to be a resource for current student-athletes in the wake of Penn track and field freshman Madison Holleran taking earlier that semester.
Throughout that semester, my final one at Penn, I reported extensively on how suicide had touched different sectors of the campus in the past, how friends, coaches and alumni of Penn’s basketball, football, track and field, field hockey and other programs tried their best to come together after being touched by a student suicide, raise funds in support of suicide prevention and help to keep each other safe.
What I learned from the Ambrogis and others in the Penn Athletics orbit that semester is that, in most cases, a team does mean family.
Penn men’s basketball coach Steve Donahue expressed grief on Twitter Friday:
Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of student Nick Moya. He was a member of our analytics team & close friend of our program.
— Steve Donahue (@Coach_Donahue) September 1, 2017
There has been much discussion and litigation regarding whether Penn can institutionally do more to nurture its students’ mental health. Such complaints must be seriously considered, but all I wish to do here is ask that we as human beings redouble our own efforts to treat one another with proactive compassion and the ready assurance that we are there for each other. Sometimes that’s not enough to limit the sinister effects of depression among those around us, but it’s a good way for us to try.
Progress on this most critical of issues starts with awareness, which the Kyle Ambrogi Foundation provides.