Update: Freshman water polo player Jon Walters dies at 19

Jon Walters, a freshman water polo player who contributed to USC’s record sixth straight NCAA title, died of a heart attack on Wednesday, the Orange County Register reported. He was 19.


Freshman two-meter Jon Walters, who contributed to USC’s record sixth straight NCAA title, died Wednesday. – Corey Marquetti | Daily Trojan

Walters fell into a coma on Jan. 1 and suffered a heart attack, his father told the Orange County Register.

“Jon was a great Trojan, and an outstanding young man from a wonderful family,” USC water polo head coach Jovan Vavic said in a statement. “He and his family were loved by all of us on the USC water polo team. I am deeply saddened, and I speak for our team in saying that this is a terrible loss of a friend and teammate. Our prayers go out to Jon’s family in hopes that they find comfort.”

The true freshman two-meter man contributed to USC’s title run this past season, with 17 goals on the season including two goals in a 10-3 win over St. Francis Brooklyn in the NCAA semifinal game last month. The Trojans captured their record sixth straight NCAA title on Dec. 8.

Prior to entering USC, Walters led Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. to the 2012 CIF-Southern Section Division 1 title, was named the 2012 Player of the Year by the Orange County Register, a first team All-American and the 2012 CIF Player of the Year.

Larry Esslinger of the Orange County Sheriff’s Coroner Division told the Daily Trojan that the death certificate has yet to be signed so a cause of death cannot be determined.

“There probably won’t be an autopsy that will be done, just the doctor treating [Walters] will probably sign the death certificate,” Esslinger said.

Editor’s NoteThe post has been updated to include a statement by the Orange County Sheriff’s Coroner Division.

Kate Guarino contributed to this report. 

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