LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Zach Lederer, the former University of Maryland men’s basketball student manager whose inspirational “Zaching” pose went viral during his battle with cancer, has died. He was 20 years old.
A spokesperson for the Terrapins men’s basketball team said the Lederers informed the basketball family of Zach’s passing on Tuesday night after his extended fight with brain cancer.
Lederer, who served as a manger for the Terrapins during the 2011-12 season, became an inspiration across the country after a picture of him flexing his biceps — a pose that became known as “Zaching” — in a hospital bed after surgery went viral.
“My heart goes out to the Lederer family,” Terps coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement to The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper. “Zach was an outstanding young man who was an inspiration to us all. He had a great passion for life and was a true fighter. Zach not only had a powerful impact on our program, but he touched the lives of so many people in our community. He is and always will be a part of our Maryland basketball family and will be greatly missed.”
The university community gathered in front of the Comcast Center on Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil to honor Zach, an Ellicott City native.
Terps past and present took to social media Tuesday night to remember and honor Zach:
University of Maryland Athletics Department:
— Maryland Athletics (@umterps) March 12, 2014
Terps basketball player Charles Mitchell:
All my prayers goes out to Zach’s Family. He will be missed and never forgotten.
— Charles Mitchell (@StuckLikeChuck1) March 12, 2014
University President Wallace Loh:
Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Zach Lederer, whose life inspired the world. We will miss you and remember you.
— Wallace D. Loh (@presidentloh) March 12, 2014
Maryland alum and ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt:
Your fight inspired us & you left footprints in the time you had. Rest everlasting, Zach. pic.twitter.com/Is3MrJOA7w
— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) March 12, 2014
Maryland alum and Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith:
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) March 12, 2014