Sports figures we lost in 2020 “It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of Travis Roy,” the school said. “His story is the epitome of inspiration and courage, and he was a role model and a hero to so many people. His legacy will last forever, not just within the Boston University community, but with the countless lives, he has impacted across the country.”

Roy was a 20-year-old freshman making his debut for the reigning NCAA champions in the 1995-96 season opener when he crashed headfirst into the boards after checking a North Dakota opponent.

Travis Roy, the Boston University hockey player who was paralyzed in his first game, has died at age 45

Travis Roy, former Boston University hockey player, passed away at 45. (Photo: Angela Rowlings, AP)

The accident left him a quadriplegic.

From his wheelchair, he gave motivational speeches to help raise money for a foundation that funds research and the purchase of equipment for paralysis victims. The message he shared: Do the best with what you have and don’t dwell on your misfortune.