Teammates remember Nigerian teen who drowned at Albuquerque hotel pool


Earlier this week, a 14-year-old boy from Nigeria drowned at an Albuquerque hotel’s pool. Friday, the robotics competition he was set to compete in made sure his name will live on.

“Bashir was very like, lively. He was so funny. He’s always making the class interesting,” said Aishat, who was on the same robotics team as Muhammad Bashir Bello.

Bello had dreams of becoming a NASA programmer. His friends say he was always joking around, except when it came to robotics research.

“He was always like, talking about something about robotics. He did lots of research. He was really happy he was going to do the competition,” said Aishat.

On Monday, police say Bello and two of teammates snuck out of their rooms at the Wyndham Hotel on Carlisle and Menaul and went to the pool.

Bello’s friend told police he drowned in the deep end and they tried to save him. Other teammates say they all ran down to the pool and tried to help.

“We were expecting him to like stand up and it was a joke or something,” said Zainab, who was also on Bello’s team.

Friday, RoboRAVE 2018, the competition the teen’s are here for, officially began. 

“Losing anyone is hard. Losing a student to me is the hardest thing in the world,” said Russ Fisher-Ives, RoboRAVE International Director of Global Programs.

Fisher-Ives dedicated the entire 2018 competition to Bello.

“In our minds, there’s only one thing to do and that is to have a recognition, a dedication of Mohammed Bashir Bello. If we could have a moment of silence, we would like to dedicate RoboRAVE International 2018 to this young man,” said Fisher-Ives.

A team from Espanola also got on stage to pay their respects to the Nigerian team.

“Our love and appreciation for the country of Nigeria to come out here and our special love for Mr. Bello,” said the coach.

The show of support made Bello’s team happy.

“Pretty happy about it. Very, Very happy,” said Abdul-hammed.

They believe Bello feels the same way.

From now on at RoboRAVE, the winner of the Alpine Challenge, the event Bello was to compete in, will win a special scholarship in his name.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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