Canyon “Moose” Hopkins, a 2016 graduate of Earlham High School and a senior at Buena Vista University, passed away Thursday night at the age of 21.
Hopkins averaged 16.8 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game during his junior season at Earlham in 2015, which saw the Cardinals finish 25-3 on the season and third at the Class 1A Iowa High School Boys State Basketball Tournament.
Hopkins, affectionately known as “Moose”, also started all 26 basketball games as a sophomore at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake after playing four sports at Earhlam.
Hopkins was diagnosed with a rare form of soft tissue sarcoma in August 2018, undergoing tests at Mayo Clinic but receiving treatment at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, where his family says he grew very close with staff and patients.
He passed away Thursday night, the school confirmed.
“Last week, I was humbled and honored to visit with Moose, and his family, to present him with his bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University,” Buena Vista University President Dr. Joshua Merchant said in a statement. “I was reminded, that even in times of darkness, there can be light. The joy on Moose’s face was evident…it was infectious. Tears joined with smiles created a happy moment. It is a moment I will cherish for a lifetime.”
Hopkins was an accounting and business double major, according to the university, and participated in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee during his time on campus.
A celebration of life has been scheduled for November 3 at 2 p.m. in Earlham, according to a Facebook post from the Hopkins family.