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Cal U hockey player dies unexpectedly

CALIFORNIA, Pa. — A hockey player for California University of Pennsylvania died unexpectedly over the weekend. According to university officials, Branson King was 23-years old and had just finished the fall semester of his junior year.

It’s not clear what led to his death.

Here is what the university put out about King:

“Branson was the heart and soul of the team; he approached hockey like everything in his life with passion and 100% commitment,” Vulcans head coach Jason Greenway said. “He was a true leader who was selfless and would sacrifice anything he had to do for our team’s success. He epitomized our team culture with passion, hard work, and a huge heart; he was a coach’s dream.”

“Branson was the most kind and genuine man I knew. He was so selfless that he would drop anything he was doing to help you get through your current situation, said Vulcans President Jared Taylor.  “He was the most energetic person in the locker room during games and even practices, cracking jokes or telling the boys the best pre-game speeches; the locker room will never be the same without him. Everyone loved him so much, and he touched so many hearts in his life.”

King, had just finished the fall semester of his junior year for the Vulcans, where he served as an assistant captain. As a member of the organization since the 2017-18 season, King played on three CHE Championship teams. Academically, King was majoring in education with a concentration in social studies. A native of Hamburg, PA, King previously played for the Philadelphia Revolution

“Branson embodied what it meant to be a teammate on and off the ice, a true leader, and someone who would do anything to help someone in need. He truly is going to be missed,” said Vulcans general manager Jamison Roth.

Visitation and funeral details have not yet been determined. A scholarship in King’s name will be established in the future, and the team will honor him with a memorial at a home game once returning this spring. The family wishes that any financial donations please go towards the scholarship that will be created in Branson’s memory. Please continue to check the Vulcans website and social media accounts for continued updates as more details will be provided as they become available.

The Vulcans welcome all to leave comments below, sharing their thoughts and memories of Branson for his family and friends during this difficult time.”Without him, it will never be the same; we want to honor him by playing the way he expected us to play every time we take the ice,” said Greenway. “Branson and I were close on and off the ice; I love him as a player but, more importantly, as a person. ”We send our thoughts and condolences to all the family, friends, and students that knew Branson.