Friends remember Hillsdale Lake drowning victim as a champion, family man

HILLSDALE, Kan. - Friends remembered Mark Selbee, the man who drowned at Hillsdale Lake over the weekend, as “an inspiration," an "awesome athlete" and an "invincible person."

Selbee was an international kickboxing champion who was well respected in the fighting community.

“Even when he made it big time he was still calling me and saying, 'You've got to watch this fight,'” his former trainer Brad Jones said Monday. “'You'll be so proud of me. You've got to watch this fight.'”

The call came in Saturday around 3:30 p.m. that a man went overboard while boating. Once officers arrived on the scene, they found two children alone inside a boat, claiming their dad was missing. The children were wearing life jackets, however early reports indicate the man was not.

At least 40 rescuers and divers from 10 different agencies searched the lake and located Selbee’s body Sunday evening.

Longtime friend David Oblas, described Selbee as, “one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He was a hard worker. He was a multi-time world champion. As a trainer he'd push all the other guys in the gym, all the fighters enjoyed training with him.”

Oblas is a promoter in Atlanta and became friends with Selbee 15 years ago.

He described 6-foot-5 Selbee as physically and mentally strong.

Above all else, Oblas said he was a true family man.

“Whenever he was at the gym at Saturdays or Sundays he always had his kids with him. That's one thing that a lot of people talked about the last few days is how it must be for his wife and kids. He was just an awesome family guy,” Oblas said.

Davis said he was utterly shocked to hear of Selbee’s death. He remembered a man who seemed bigger than life.

“He seemed like such a...such an invincible person,” Davis said.” I mean this guy had a presence to him.”

Selbee lived in Leawood with his wife and three young children.

Those wanting to help with funeral expenses can donate to the Selbee Memorial Fun at Enterprise Bank & Trust at 12695 Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park.

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