Nigerian-born Italian volleyball player, Julia Ituma, has been found dead after a suspected fall from a hotel room window in Turkey.
She died following her club, Novara’s, defeat to Turkish side Eczacibas in the Champions League semi-final.
Turkish Police said the 18-year-old player was staying on the sixth floor of a hotel in Istanbul.
Ituma was reported to have fallen from the sixth floor of her hotel window in the very early hours of Thursday.
The body of the Italian-born athlete of Nigerian origin was discovered at 5:30 am local time in front of the hotel, Turkish daily Daily Sabah reported.
The 18-year-old was declared dead shortly after the paramedics attempted to rescue her from the dreaded scene.
Her club announced: “With deep sorrow and emotion the untimely death of Italian volleyball player Julia Ituma.”
“The tragedy occurred in the early hours of the day and the specifics of the incident are being investigated by the Turkish police,” the Italian club added.
“We are all dismayed by this tragedy which affects not only the volleyball world but all of Italian sport,” Italian Volleyball Federation President Giuseppe Manfredi said in a statement.
“My first thought goes to Julia’s family, to whom I send my deepest condolences and I guarantee that the Italian Volleyball Federation will provide maximum support.”
The local Police have begun investigations on the incident and her body has been sent to the forensic for autopsy.
Ituma was born in Milan to Nigerian parents and was considered one of the most promising talents in Italian volleyball. She started playing volleyball at the age of 11.
She was said to be ‘the next big thing’ following her gold medal at the Under-19 Italian team at the European Championship and 2022 European Youth Olympic Festival.
In a CCTV footage that has emerged online, Ituma is seen walking slowly inside the hotel while talking on the phone.
She then sat outside the door to her room for about an hour in a “pensive and thoughtful” way, before entering her room for the last time, Police said.