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Teammates and coach remember two Iowa State students killed in rowing accident

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 6:50 AM CDT
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AMES, Iowa (WOI) - High school teammates and a former coach are remembering two Iowa State students killed in a rowing accident last weekend.

Derek Nanni and Yaakov Ben-David died after their boat capsized on Little Wall Lake in Hamilton County. One of the students, Derek Nanni, is from Illinois.

Friends and teammates say he was the bright smile that could lift everyone’s spirits.

Those close to him say he was fun, with a goofy sense of humor.

Cross Country coach Lester Hampton said behind Nanni’s lighthearted presence was a mature young man who wouldn’t shy away from stepping up to lead.

“Probably in all my life, probably one of the most selfless--and I don’t mean teenagers or kids--one of the most selfless individuals I’ve ever had the opportunity to share life with,” said Hampton. “Just unbelievably--just incredible.”

Nanni’s friends say they hope to start a scholarship in his name.

See the original story on WOI’s website.

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