March 11, 2016 7:03 pm
Updated: March 14, 2016 2:12 pm

Retired Canadian tennis star Bruno Agostinelli Jr. killed in motorcycle crash at 28

WATCH ABOVE: Bruno Agostinelli Jr. was a key member of Canada's Davis Cup team and is described as a terrific person, humble about his accomplishments, caring and kind towards his players. Peter Kim has the story of how the shining star in the Canadian tennis world was killed in a motorcycle crash in Vaughan Wednesday.


TORONTO — Retired tennis player Bruno Agostinelli Jr., a former University of Kentucky star and member of Canada’s Davis Cup team, died in a motorcycle crash near Toronto Wednesday at age 28.

Tennis Canada confirmed Agostinelli’s death in a statement on Thursday. The statement did not indicate a cause of death, but Global News confirmed Agostinelli was killed in the crash in Vaughan on Wednesday night.

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“This news has shocked and saddened our entire organization and the tennis community today,” Kelly Murumets, president and CEO for Tennis Canada. said in a statement.

“Bruno was simply a terrific person. Humble about his accomplishments, caring and kind towards his players, and passionate about his job, his life and his family. This is a truly devastating loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bruno’s family and everyone who loved him dearly, as we did.”

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Agostinelli was killed after leaving a coaching session at Tennis Canada headquarters in north-end Toronto on his motorcycle, according to Doug Carter of the Niagara Academy of Tennis in Vineland.

Toronto police said a 2005 Kawasaki motorcycle collided with a 2007 Lexus near Steeles Avenue and Islington Avenue in Vaughan Wednesday at about 6:30 p.m. For reasons not yet determined, the driver of the motorcycle lost control and struck the rear of the Lexus and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Agostinelli, a native of Niagara Falls, Ont., captured a fifth and deciding rubber for Canada at a Davis Cup tie versus Peru in 2009.

“Bruno really was a hardworking individual. He put 100 per cent into his athletics as he did his academics and he really had the world at his feet … just a wonderful human being,” said Patrick Chalmers a teacher at Agostinelli Jr.’s former high school Saint Paul Catholic High School in Niagara Falls, Ont.

“It’s a crippling loss for the family, but also for Niagara Falls and the sports community.”

Collegiately, Agostinelli was an all-American and named Kentucky’s male athlete of the year in 2009.

“We will dearly miss Bruno Agostinelli. He was great on the court and exemplified everything it means to be a Kentucky Wildcat off of it,” Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart said in a release. “My heart breaks for his family and we offer our deepest condolences.”

After retiring from professional tennis in 2009, Agostinelli was the national coach for under-14 players at Tennis Canada’s national junior training program in Toronto.

With files from Nick Westoll and Adam Miller

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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