UCLA football player Nick Pasquale mourned at memorial service


Hundreds of people gathered at San Clemente Presbyterian Church on Avenida De La Estrella to pay their respects to the very popular young football player who many said was an inspiration both on-and-off the football field.

Members of UCLA's football team arrived to take part in their teammate's memorial service around 4 p.m. Many of them were visibly grieving the death of 20-year-old wide receiver Nick Pasquale.

Pasquale was a standout player at San Clemente High School. This year, he had been living his dream as a freshman walk-on at UCLA. Pasquale's UCLA career consisted of one play in the season-opening 58-20 victory over Nevada Aug. 31 at the Rose Bowl.

"He had such an impact on our team," Bruins coach Jim Mora said. "Those guys loved him and respected the heck out of him."

Pasquale was walking home from a friend's house in San Clemente on Sept. 8 when he was fatally struck. The driver stopped and called 911 but the 20-year-old player was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sunday's memorial service comes a day after a moving tribute was held for the teen 1,500 miles away.

During UCLA's first game since Pasquale's death Saturday, players and coaches wore patches bearing Pasquale's No. 36.

The Bruins' opponents, Nebraska, also put No. 36 decals on their helmets.

A moment of silence was held before the game in Lincoln, Neb. as fans released nearly 200 blue and gold balloons.

"I thought it was an incredible gesture they made here and I think it kind of shows the class here at Nebraska," Mora said after UCLA's 41-21 victory.

The speakers during Sunday's memorial service included Pasquale's former high school football coach as well as some close friends and family members.

In lieu of flowers, the 20-year-old's loved ones created the Nick Pasquale Foundation in Pasquale's memory.

Donations to the foundation will support athletes who demonstrate extreme effort and leadership on their teams, charitable groups influencing sports and athletes needing grants or scholarships to pursue their dreams.

For more information or to make a donation, visit www.nickpasqualefoundation.com.

CNS contributed to this report.

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