Ricky Jones, Steve Basinski, and Matt Cinader – along with the rest of the Central Michigan club hockey team – are still in shock after the sudden death of their teammate.
“We’ve been talking all day about him,” Jones says. “How he was the best friend that you could ask for.”
Grand Rapids police say Zachary Bunting, 21, fell 40 feet off a stairwell inside the B.O.B. in downtown Grand Rapids just after 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning.
But through the shock comes smiles, brought by the memories of a young man who always made sure one was on his teammates’ faces.
“He always had the one-line,” Basinski says. “Always had something to say that made the moment perfect. It was so funny. He was always chirping with everybody, just messing around with everybody.”
“There was never a dull moment.”
“We’d always prank each other around the house,” Cinader adds. “We’d throw cold water on each other in the shower, tape the nozzle on the sink so when I turn it on, it’d spray me. He was all about that.”
“Everyone wanted to be around him,” Jones says. I wanted to be around him all the time because he was funny.”
“He was just the best friend anybody could ask for.”
And now the team asks for something from everybody who knew Bunting.
“We don’t wanna so much mourn his death,” Basinski says. “We want to celebrate the great person and great friend he was to everybody.”
“He’s left it all on the ice when he played,” Cinader says. “Never really fancy or anything, just played his heart out.”
“I guess that’s how we remember him, is by doing that.”