Promising young basketball star dies in crash

A promising young basketball star has died following a serious crash involving a car and a truck on State Highway 1 in the Horowhenua district on Monday morning.

Jake McKinlay, who has been described as a "young man full of talent and heart", signed on with the Manawatū Jets earlier this year.

In a post to Facebook, the Manawatū Jets confirmed McKinlay died in the car accident.

"It's with heavy hearts and immense sadness; we mourn the passing of a member of the Jets family, Jake McKinlay, who was tragically taken in a car accident this morning.

"We have no words that can express the sorrow and loss of this exceptional young man who still had his whole life ahead of him. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Jake's family and friends at this difficult time."

In a tweet, the New Zealand National Basketball League said they were "devastated" to hear of the passing of McKinlay.

"Our thoughts go out to the basketball community in the Manawatū and Wellington, and we send all our aroha to his friends and family," the tweet read.

The Wellington Saints and the Nelson Giants also took to social media to express their heartbreak.

"We as a Saints Family stand alongside our brothers and sisters from The Jets and Jake's whānau as we mourn the loss of an exceptional talent gone too soon.

"A young man full of talent and heart, fly high brother," the team tweeted.

Basketball Manawatū said McKinlay "set the bar so high for others to follow".

"We are so proud of the young man you were - the kindness you showed the younger generation will be missed by those Rangatahi and Tamariki you worked with."

As captain of the successful 2018 Boys' High premier squad, McKinlay was named in the New Zealand secondary schools' tournament team and the Junior Tall Blacks.

In the same year, he also debuted for the Jets.

Earlier today, police confirmed the driver of the car died at the scene, and the truck driver sustained moderate injuries.

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