Kenny Robinson, a high school and college baseball player and Mercyhurst University graduate is missing and presumed dead after a fishing accident in the Ohio River, Ohio Township Police reported. The 23-year-old went missing May 16 after he was last seen on the docks near Neville Island.
He was fishing with friends on the river, local TV station WTAE reported, when friends reported that Robinson fell and they couldn’t pull him out; the friends called 911.
Swift Water Rescue crews from Neville and Township Fire Department personnel as well as Valley Emergency Medical Services, Canine Aided Search and Rescue and dive rescue teams from nearby towns all responded to the scene looking for Robinson, Ohio police reported. Rescue crews tried to search for him, but struggled to see in the dark and he remained missing through May 18. According to Erie News Now, the search for Robinson is now a search and recovery mission.
“We searched the river. We had four boats on the water. We searched river right, river left, we brought dogs in later on,” Michael Thomas, chief of the Neville Island Volunteer Fire Department, told the news station. “We sent divers in the water. The divers didn’t find nothing,” said Thomas. “It gets frustrating, really. We’re just trying to do the best we can for the family.” They are hoping to find Robinson’s body to provide closure to the family, Thomas told Erie News Now.
Robinson Was A Gifted Basketball & Baseball Player
Robinson transferred from Mercyhurst Northeast to Mercyhurst University in 2018. At Mercyhurst Northeast, he played in 74 games and had a batting average above .280 for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. During his first season at Mercyhurst University, he started 25 games and made 38 appearances; he had a batting average of .205 and one home run.
Robinson was with the Mercyhurst Lakers, when the team won the NCAA Division II Baseball Atlantic Region championship for a second straight year and advanced to NCAA Division II Elite Eight tournament.
Robinson was also a basketball player during his high school years. Buddy Valinsky coached Kenny Robinson during his time playing basketball at Taylor Allerdice. He wrote a tweet calling Robinson “a great teammate and a pleasure to coach.”
Allderdice Sports sends our deepest condolences to the family of Kenny Robinson. Please see the message from Coach Valinsky. pic.twitter.com/xImgk8cU5V
— Allderdice Sports (@DiceSports) May 17, 2020
Robinson Enjoyed School & Was Thinking About Getting His Master’s Degree
Robinson had a twin brother, Keith Robinson as well as a sister, La’Keisha Robinson, and brother Javon Jackson.
In 2019, he got a job off the court as a team attendant for the Erie BayHawks, an American professional basketball team that’s part of the NBA G-league and is an affiliate of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Robinson was one of the many college seniors whose last school year was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic; however, he still graduated May 10, according to Pittsburgh Sports Now.
Robinson was also thinking about getting a master’s degree, which he posted about April 17. After a positive response from friends and family, he said he was going to do it. In December, he had celebrated getting his first semester with a perfect GPA.
According to his Facebook page, Robinson had a pet snake and when he wasn’t playing live sports, he played Madden and 2k.
In January, Robinson described how he was heartbroken over the death of Kobe Bryant, who he said was his inspiration for playing basketball and for why he chose the jersey number #24.