A former standout Hudson Valley basketball player and current coach drowned while swimming with a group of friends.

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On Tuesday around 5:40 p.m., multiple police, fire and EMS agencies responded to a 911 call for a water emergency in the Rondout Creek in the vicinity of 25 Bruceville Road in the Town of Marbletown.

The ensuing effort resulted in the recovery of 18-year-old Christopher K. Bamba of Kingston, according to the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

The preliminary investigation suggests Bamba was swimming with friends in the creek when he became in distress. Despite rescue efforts from several people, he was unable to reach the shore, police say.

Divers from Ulster Hose and our in-water rescue team recovered him and after unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate him, he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

The investigation is continuing, however preliminary indications, including numerous witness accounts, suggest this incident was accidental, officials say.

Bamba graduated from Kingston High School in 2019. He played on the Kingston High School varsity boy's basketball team and helped lead the team to the New York State Final Four, officials say. Chris was also a leader in the Brothers at Bard Program and also as a coach for the unified basketball team.

"Chris had a huge heart, bright smile, and infectious personality. You couldn’t help but be happy in his presence," Kingston High School wrote on Facebook. "The Kingston City School District community mourns this tragic loss. If any student, parent or staff member needs to speak with someone in this difficult time, our Critical Incident Stress Management Team has been activated and is available. Please call 845-943-3826."

Deputies were assisted by the New York State Police, Town of Rosendale Police, Mobile Life Support Services, Marbletown First Aid and fire companies from High Falls, Ulster Hose, Cottekill and Stone Ridge.

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