I’ve been to two funerals in my time as a teacher. Those funerals were for ex-students that had their lives end too soon in tragic circumstances that often ripped my heart out. I won’t be attending the third funeral for a former student because I’m going to be out of town but now the sadness of the passing is compounded by a desire to find a bit of closure that won’t be there.
This is the first passing of a member of the basketball family. This former student wasn’t on my team but I worked with the kid for many a day and enjoyed his company during years past while on trips to tournaments and summer leagues and practice times in hot gyms. His relationship with other members of the program was incredibly strong and very genuine. I heard about his passing through the reactions of his former teammates and it was uniformly emotional for all of them.
I’ll celebrate him by remembering him as the kid that had a fun and goofy smile off the court that played like a warrior with a serious chip on his shoulder during basketball games. He was a dependable teammate; there to provide the energy when the team needed it and an integral part of the family of cagers from Ukiah.
Many of us will miss you. Safe home.