RYE, N.Y. -- On the eve of the funeral for Rye resident Michael Ice , the Rye High School alumni's former teacher and high school basketball coach each reflected on the 22-year-olds short, but influential life.
"Mike wasn't just a good student, in many ways he was even a good teacher," Ice's high school history teacher Bob Steel said. "He truly loved learning, and he inspired his classmates to do their best. Mike was exceptional in that he was truly a role model for his peers."
Steel also recognized that while Ice was an accomplished student, he was also a strong athlete and an active member of the Rye community. Through his participation in the charity club HELP, Ice spent his free time visiting sick children at Blythedale Hospital.
Ice also participated in cross country and basketball, and his high school basketball coach Chris DiCinto described him as unforgettable.
"Michael was a pleasure to coach," DiCinto said. "His smile, sense of humor and pleasant disposition will always be remembered by those that were fortunate enough to know him."
To DiCinto and other members of the Rye basketball family, Ice will always be remembered by his nickname "Rucker," which is synonymous with his love for basketball.
"It comes from Rucker Park in New York," DiCinto said.
"Every time he got in the game everyone would chant 'Rucker,' 'Rucker.' He was really beloved by his teammates."
The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. at Resurrection Church in Rye on Wednesday. The NYPD has not released any additional information regarding Ice's death.
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