CHARLESTON, S.C. -- College of Charleston Athletics is deeply saddened and mourns the loss of former men’s basketball student-athlete Chad Cooke, who passed away on Christmas Eve.

Originally from Bolingbrook, Illinois, Cooke, 20, was a walk-on guard and played two seasons for the Cougars in 2012-13 and 2013-14. He was currently in his junior year, majoring in business administration.

“Chad was a great young man from a terrific family,” CofC Director of Athletics Joe Hull said. “He died while playing basketball at home with friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chad, his family, his many friends and our team.”

Off the court, Cooke was actively involved in the Lowcountry community giving back to others through Seacoast Church and its campus ministry as well as Charleston Hope, a 501c3 non-profit organization created by his girlfriend, Emily Hoisington. Through this Adopt A Classroom program, Cooke annually helped organize, wrap and distribute Christmas gifts to local underprivileged school children.

He also made a mission trip with fellow teammates and staff members to Haiti in the summer of 2013 to aid in the relief efforts for those still recovering from the 2010 earthquake, particularly the deaf community in Leveque, Haiti.

“Chad Cooke was many things: a best friend, a teammate, a student, but most importantly Chad Cooke was a man of God,” CofC sophomore guard Canyon Barry said. “Chad actively pursued Christ and I am blessed to say that I was by his side for part of the journey. No words can describe the pain I feel, but like Chad, I trust God’s plan and it does my heart well to picture him singing and dancing to Taylor Swift, and putting a smile on everyone in Heaven’s face – just like he did here on Earth. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all of his many friends. Rest in peace, Chad, I will love you always.”

Cooke is survived by his parents, Jim and Lori, and his four siblings, Jay, David, Catherine and Savanna.