UK Women's Basketball

Two UK players mourn loss of their high school, club coach

Two Kentucky players have heavy hearts this week.

Sophomore guard Jennifer O'Neill and freshman forward Bra'Shey Ali learned on Tuesday night that their high school and club coach died suddenly at age 38 in New York City.

Robert "Apache" Paschall had been battling an aggressive form of skin cancer and was diagnosed with a heart condition two years ago, according to a story in the New York Daily News.

UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said Paschall's death has hit his players and members of his coaching staff hard.

"Apache was a guy who gave a lot of young women a lot of opportunities to showcase their talents so they could go on to be college basketball players," Mitchell said. "Our prayers go out to everybody associated with that high school, and their club, and Apache's family and friends.

"It's just a sad time and we're certainly trying to support our players the best we can during what's been a difficult last 24 hours."

Paschall was head coach at nationally ranked programs at St. Michael Academy and Nazareth Regional High School in Brooklyn. He also was the architect of an AAU dynasty in Team Exodus.

UK assistant coach Matt Insell told Wednesday that Ali and O'Neill told him "they would still be on the streets of New York City if it wasn't for (Paschall)."