UCF basketball player recovering after Lake Down jet ski accident, cousin’s death

CJ Walker’s 17-year-old cousin died during jet ski incident

Crews search for teen who fell off jet ski in Lake Down in Windermere
Crews search for teen who fell off jet ski in Lake Down in Windermere

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – University of Central Florida basketball player CJ Walker is recovering following a jet ski accident in which his cousin died, according to his social media and the university.

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Last week, Orange County deputies said 17-year-old Jeffery Barksdale and Walker, 20, were involved in a jet ski accident on Lake Down in Windermere. Walker was rescued, but the teen never resurfaced. His body was found the next day by the sheriff’s office marine unit.

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Deputies said no foul play is suspected.

Walker posted about his cousin’s passing on social media, writing “God has a plan for everyone. This one is a little confusing.” The UCF sophomore said he is heartbroken.

A UCF spokesperson said Walker is doing better since the accident. He was taken to Health Central in Ocoee after the incident, according to deputies.

About the Author:

Emilee is a digital journalist for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com, where she writes about space and Central Florida news. Emilee hosts the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning podcast Space Curious. Previously, she was a space writer and web editor for the Orlando Sentinel and a web producer at the Naples Daily News.