SVSU men’s basketball assistant coach Kalen Foreman died from an apparent heart attack in the early morning hours of Thursday, April 19. He was 25 years old.
A native of Detroit, Foreman contributed to the men’s basketball program as both a player and a coach. Capping off his career as a player in 2014-2015, he then served as an assistant coach for the past three seasons.
SVSU men’s basketball coach Randy Baruth told WNEM TV5 that he was driving back from a recruiting trip in Ohio with Foreman when the assistant coach told him that something was wrong. Baruth called 911.
Baruth added that first responders took Foreman to Lima Memorial Hospital before transferring him to the Ohio State University Medical Center.
“(We) got there and we’re all waiting to see how surgery was going to go, and I don’t know what happened,” Baruth told WNEM TV5. “They did not come in with the answers that we were anticipating.”
Baruth spent the rest of Friday with Foreman’s mother in Detroit.
“Kalen was the first recruit to say yes to us,” Baruth said in a statement. “He believed in our program before we even had our staff together. Kalen did not hesitate with the message we were selling and the vision we were showing.”
This past December, Foreman earned his second degree from the university, a master’s degree in public administration.
“Soon, Kalen realized that the key to doing great things in your life was education,” Baruth stated. “… His growth continued both on and off the court. … Like all competitive people, he worked for more playing time, but also was the ultimate team player. … Once his basketball time was over, Kalen jumped at the chance to get his master’s. But boy, one was not enough – he got a double master’s. … While accomplishing this, Kalen was an assistant coach for us, mentoring every young man coming through our program.”
His coaching career comprised of a 54-36 record and the 2015-2016 GLIAC Championship, a team that ultimately reached the 2016 NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
Interim Athletic Director John Decker recalled Foreman’s career both as a player and a coach for the Cardinals.
“He always seemed to have a positive attitude,” Decker said. “He was very supportive of the players; he really loved what he did. To take a young person, 25 years old, who you see as so full of expectation and optimism about what their life journey is going to be, it hits me hard.”
Foreman had recently accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Decker also said that Foreman’s impact on SVSU’s basketball players was evident when the athletic department and basketball coaching staff notified the team of his death.
“It’s also hit our basketball team quite hard, even though Kalen was leaving, because he wasn’t that much older than a lot of our players,” Decker said. “I could tell at the meeting (Thursday) when we had to inform the team what had happened that their reaction to it indicated to me that he’d had a significant influence on all of them.”
SVSU President Don Bachand also thanked Foreman for his contributions to the university.
“Kalen contributed a great deal to SVSU during his time as a student, player and coach,” he told SVSU Athletics. “It was evident that he was well-liked on campus, and he could usually be found with a smile on his face. He will be missed. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”