Delray Beach police, friends searching for 30-year-old youth basketball coach
Delray Beach police and friends are attempting to find a 30-year-old man who has not been seen since Saturday morning.
Makuach Yak was last seen at his home in the 300 block of Southwest 10th Avenue, the agency posted Sunday afternoon on Twitter.
Yak coaches a seventh-grade travel basketball team in the Boca Raton area called Team 8.
His best friend who lives next door, Tate Allan VanRoekel, is also a coach. He says the two saw each other late Friday night, when VanRoekel dropped him off at home. VanRoekel says he slept elsewhere and returned to pick up Yak Saturday morning to drive him to the game. Yak wasn’t home, but his wallet, Apple Watch, keys and cell phone were on the counter, but his friend wasn’t home.
Yak never showed up to the game on his own.
“He’s very scheduled, very detailed, very smart and thinks things through, and is trying to be a step ahead usually. Very uncharacteristic thought of him to miss a game, even if it wasn’t dependent on him coaching it,” VanRoekel said.
VanRoekel returned to the property and found Yak’s personal items in the same place, seemingly untouched.
“He was an All-American cross country star in college so he does go on runs quite frequently. He hadn’t said anything to me which he usually does, but I came back after the first game and everything was still in the exact same place and I still hadn’t heard from him which is very unusual,” VanRoekel said.
The landlord of the property shared video showing Yak early Saturday morning, around 6:30 or 7 a.m., wearing purple clothing. That is the last image friends have been able to find of Yak.
Police say he is about 6’4” tall and weighs about 165 pounds. He is athletic, lean and tall.
Friends spent Sunday and Monday handing out flyers and asking neighbors to check their security cameras.
"I’m most worried that something did happen to him," Jonathan Eisdorfer, a friend, told WPTV's Briana Nespral. "You hear crazy things nowadays. ... A very tough situation to swallow or to even have that thought in someone’s head."
Yak's family moved to the United States from Sudan when he was 8. He became a distance runner.
VanRoekel said he runs a non-profit to help children with Yak. Yak had plans to travel to Africa to work on the efforts.
Michael Krumholz’s son plays on coach Yak’s travel basketball team.
“The kids are distraught, my son said, ‘Where is coach Yak, you know, do you know if they’re going to find coach Yak?’” Krumholz said.
Multiple parents of players have turned out to help.
“I felt it in my heart to find him because he’s a really good guy. A really good guy, and he’s done a lot for our kids to help them grow as players as well as kids,” Krumholz said.
Adam David’s son also plays for coach Yak.
“He’s been involved with a lot of different kids and a lot of different families and there’s a lot of trust put into him, and not only is he a good coach but he’s just a wonderful person. He’s very caring, he’s a very bright person, and he’s someone who really seems to have a good understanding of what life should be about and he has a bigger purpose,” David said.
The friends plan to continue searching until Yak is located.
“We’re devastated and we have to figure this out. We need to band together, and just keep expanding in terms of the amount of people that know about what’s going on so we can unify and find him, because this is not like him. This guy is in incredible shape, I would think he’s in a good mental state as well and I just don’t see how this could happen,” David said.
The hope is that somebody will have seen something that can help in the search.
“My best friend, brother, and a lot more to a lot more people,” VanRoekel said.
Family and friends say they have a combined pool of $20,000 they are willing to offer for the safe return of Yak.
If you have seen him, or you can help in the investigation, please call Delray Beach Police Department at 561-243-7800 or dial 911.
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