Younger brother of Michigan State's Cassius Winston dies after being hit by train

Cassandra NegleyYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaab/players/137368/" data-ylk="slk:Cassius Winston">Cassius Winston</a> is mourning the loss of his brother, a fellow basketball player. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Cassius Winston is mourning the loss of his brother, a fellow basketball player. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Zachary Winston, a Division III basketball player and younger brother of Michigan State senior Cassius Winston, died Saturday night when he was killed by an Amtrak train, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The train bound for Chicago from Albion “came into contact with a person on the track” at approximately 8:41 p.m. Saturday, per the Free Press. Police confirmed it was Zachary Winston on Sunday morning.

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Winston, 19, intentionally stepped in front of the train, Albion Public Safety chief Scott Kipp told the Battle Creek Enquirer of USA Today. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prior to Sunday’s game against Binghamton on Sunday, Michigan State held a moment of silence for Zachary Winston.

Cassius Winston is in Michigan State’s starting lineup.

Head coach Tom Izzo released a statement Sunday afternoon.

Zachary Winston was a sophomore finance major at Albion College in Michigan along with the youngest Winston brother, freshman Khy. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 2.6 points in 13.8 minutes per game as a freshman and was dealing with an injury heading into this season. He missed an Oct. 29 exhibition against No. 1 Michigan State, putting all three Winston brothers together in the arena, but returned this week in a loss to Mount Union. He hit his one shot attempt, a 3-pointer, and had two assists with two steals in 15 minutes.

The Winstons played at the University of Detroit-Jesuit under head coach Pat Donnelly and won the 2016 state championship together.

“I just can’t picture it. That family is so tight, they didn’t do anything without each other,” Donnelly said, per the Free Press. “He was the same Zach, all smiles, just a happy kid. Obviously, he was dealing with some things he didn’t put outward.”

Albion College president Mauri Ditzler released a statement Sunday afternoon asking for privacy for the family and offering counseling opportunities for students, faculty and staff.

“He was an extremely charismatic young man with an infectious smile. Zach was a recognized leader who was well known across every facet of our campus. He was a fantastic student with a world of potential before him. He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed.”

Cassius Winston, an All-American and 2018-19 Big Ten Player of the Year, scored 21 points with four assists in 38 minutes during a season-opening loss against No. 2 Kentucky.

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