This year’s Robotics Competition will be dedicated to a 14-year-old Nigerian boy who died after he drowned in an Albuquerque hotel pool.
Fourteen-year-old Muhammad Bashir-Bello and 83 other students from Nigeria traveled to the metro for one of the yearly competitions.
The students were staying at the Wyndham Hotel on Carlisle and Menaul when police say three of the boys sneaked out of their rooms to go to the hotel’s indoor pool.
Bashir’s friend told police Bashir-Bello drowned at the bottom of the deep end as his friend tried to save him.
The co-founder of Roborave International says Bashir-Bello was one of the competition’s brightest.
He says the teen’s family found out about his death Tuesday morning.
“Their two remarks were phenomenal. Because of their Muslim faith, he needs to be buried soon, so they want him laid to rest in Albuquerque. So he will live on in our community when all the Nigerians go home. That to me gives me goose bumps. The other comment that surprised me, his parents asked that his death does not disrupt the event,” said Russ Fisher-Ives, RoboRave International Director of Global Programs.
Fisher-Ives says they will also make a memorial reward for one of the challenges that Bashir-Bello was going to participate in.
The three day competition begins Thursday at the convention center.