A Nigerian-Italian volleyball player, Julia Ituma, has died after falling from 6th floor of a hotel window just hours after her team was eliminated from the Champions League semi-finals.
18-year-old Ituma was discovered dead at her hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, on Thursday morning, 13th April, 2023, following her team’s loss.
The rising volleyball star had been representing her team Igor Gorgonzola Novara in their second-leg knockout match against Turkish side Eczacibasi Dynavit Istanbul, where she had scored two points despite their defeat.
According to Istanbul police, Ituma was discovered motionless on the ground outside the Valley Hotel at around 5.30am on Thursday.
It said in security footage from inside the hotel, Ituma was seen talking on the phone in a hallway in the evening hours, and then sitting outside the door to her room for about an hour in a pensive and thoughtful way, before entering her room for the last time.
She was pronounced dead shortly after paramedics and emergency responders arrived at the scene.
Local police confirmed that an investigation into the incident has begun. Her body was later sent for forensic examination in order to determine the cause of her tragic death.
The Italian consulate in Turkey stated that they were working closely with Turkish officials and were assisting Ituma’s family.
Ituma was born in 2001 in Milan to Nigerian parents and was regarded as one of Italy’s most promising volleyball players. She began playing volleyball when she was 11 years old.
She had joined Igor Gorgonzola Novara three seasons before, having transferred from Club Italia. Ituma had recently finished the season with Igor, finishing fifth in the national Serie A1 league.
Story: Asma’u Sani
Media: julia.ituma/ Instagram