A 23-year-old man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the stabbing death of a University of Waterloo football player.

Nicholas Ndayisenga admitted he stabbed his friend, Lam Diing, in the neck during a fight in April.

After moving from Sudan in 2007, Diing went from learning English as his second language to a scholarship with the University of Waterloo.

He was admired for taking care of his mother and six siblings on top of his athletic and academic commitments.

“It’s tough to see someone that was such a big leader in the community and leader on a team to go this way. It’s heartbreaking,” said Sammy Prantera, a friend of Diing.

According to the agreed statement of facts, Diing and Ndayisenga were close friends.

On the night of the incident, the pair went to a house party with friends, where Diing became drunk and was asked to leave.

Outside of the home, the two friends got into a heated argument which was broken up.

Moments later, another yelling match ensued. That’s when Ndayisenga stabbed Diing in the neck.

In court on Monday, Ndayisenga stood and offered a tearful apology to Diing's family.

From the gallery, Diing's mother refused the apology, saying she did not believe Ndayisenga.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison.