Falcon basketball player Ajene-Bomani Robertson devoted himself to helping others
One of the top Falcon men’s basketball players in the late ’90s, AJENE-BOMANI ROBERTSON ’98 died of cardiac arrest May 6, 2019. He was 44 years old.
Born and raised in Seattle, Ajene was a top basketball player at Garfield High School. He went on to play for a year at North Idaho College before receiving a full athletic scholarship to attend Seattle Pacific University.
By his senior year in a Falcon jersey, Ajene led the team in assists and steals and was the number two scorer on the team. “Ajene was just an outstanding individual,” remembered Ken Bone, former Falcon men’s head basketball coach. “He was a very good defender, but he was also great on offense. He was willing to play wherever needed.”
In fact, Ajene hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in the closing minutes of SPU’s 62-60 upset of top-ranked and defending national champion Cal State Bakersfield in the NCAA West Regional semifinal in March 1998.
After graduating from Seattle Pacific, Ajene went abroad and played professional basketball for the Harstaad Vikings in Norway. Quickly showing his leadership skills, he became team captain and leading scorer, while also leading in steals and assists.
Returning to the States, Ajene devoted his life to helping others. He was a basketball coach for middle school and high school boys and girls; coached at NBA youth basketball camps in Seattle; and was a program manager for The Austin Foundation, which is dedicated to meeting the need for youth-fitness programming in the Seattle/King County area. Ajene also coached in Los Angeles and served as a coach and athletic director at Seoul Scholars International High School in South Korea.
When not coaching or playing hoops, Ajene was an avid reader and lover of music, from jazz to classic R&B. He was an active member of Toastmasters in Santa Monica, California.
Ajene is survived by his wife, Shannon, their three young sons, as well as his father, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, and countless friends.
Editor’s note: Ajene-Bomani Robertson’s wife, Shannon, shared on the family’s GoFundMe page that her husband’s life could have been spared if there had been a working defibrillator nearby when Ajene went into cardiac arrest. “Make sure your job and your children’s school, your gym, the places you frequent where people exert themselves, all have a working defibrillator … Find out where it is and if it is in proper working condition. And if there isn’t one, insist on getting one,” Shannon wrote.