THE hockey fraternity in TT and UK lost one of its brightest talents on Saturday night following the death of national goalkeeper Kwasi Emmanuel.
The 21 year old, who aspired to become a lawyer and police officer, was best known for playing alongside his brothers Keiron and Kristien Emmanuel – the first sibling trio to make the national under 21 hockey team.
According to his girlfriend Destiny Leon, 19, they were liming with friends at a sports day in Woodbrook, when Kwasi left with a friend to purchase food in St James.
She said the other guy came back shortly after shouting frantically that “something happened to Kwasi.”
A distraught Leon explained, “The guy said they were parked outside a food outlet, he (Kwasi) turned to him and said ‘something wrong’ and started to convulse, like a seizure, he then slumped over the wheel. He said by the time emergency medics got there (in St James) he was unresponsive. He just never got back up.”
Kwasi was taken to the St James medical facility where he was pronounced dead.
Leon, a national volleyball player, grew up with Kwasi as they both attended the Revival Capital Prophetic Ministries in Piarco.
Kwasi, a past student of Queen’s Royal College, was also fondly called “Jah Boy” because of his tendency to always profess his faith as a Christian.
The TT Olympic Committee, national hockey coach Darren Cowie, friends and other members of the sporting fraternity yesterday paid tribute to Kwasi on social media as they came to grip with his shocking death.
In a Facebook post, Cowie remembered Kwasi as more than an athlete. He said, “So much more than just an aspiring talent and the future of hockey. A role model son; a supportive and caring brother; an inspirational young man has been lost, and by all these posts it is evident that your memory will live on and stretch way past the boundaries of the semicircle.
You’ve had an effect on me and everyone you’ve come into contact with Kwasi. May your everlasting examples of dedication, professionalism, maturity and heart push the future generation to strive for greatness in all facets of life. You are gone but never forgotten. Rest easy...”
Kwasi had only recently returned from England where he was a member of the Timperley Hockey Club.
Yesterday the club’s page informed members of his death and offered heartfelt condolences to his family.
“For those of you who had the delight of meeting Kwasi whilst he was at Timperley, will know that he brought happiness and laughter to everyone he met. Aside from his clear talent on the pitch, he was a pleasure to be around and had a smile as bright as you could ever hope to see.”
Members were also invited to “gather at the club at 6:30 to hold a memorial on the pitch in front of the goal he defended so proudly last season.”
In 2016, Kwasi captained TT and had been named top goalkeeper during the Pan American Junior Hockey Tournament in Canada.