There are certain situations they don’t warn you about when you get into coaching. And even if they did, you are never prepared to face them.
As you have probably heard, last Friday morning at 12:25 a.m. Wayde Sims, a junior on the LSU Basketball team, was tragically killed in a shooting near the Southern University campus.
Another senseless act of violence that has robbed another young man of his remaining years and left his friends and family heartbroken.
Wayde was not only a very talented basketball player, he was an even better young man! We have had the privilege to get to know and love Wayde from his early teenage years until now.
It was evident very early that Wayde was a special person. He came from a loving family, his parent’s Wayne and Fay Sims are two of the best people God put on this earth and did an unbelievable job raising Wayde and molding him into a young man who was respectful, loving, outgoing, talented and loved by so many.
Wayde was as fun-loving as they come. He was always joking around, pranking his teammates and coaches, doing impersonations, keeping the mood light even when times were hard. His smile was infectious and you always saw Wayde going out of his way to take the time to put smiles on other people’s faces. From hugging the elderly to picking up children and holding them close to the rim so they could dunk a basketball, that was Wayde Sims.
He was always there for his people… Whether it was family, friends, teammates or whoever. You knew you could depend on Wayde. He was as selfless as anyone we have ever met. On the court, he didn’t care about stats he only valued winning and playing for his teammates. Off the court, he was always there to help people. From giving rides to teammates without cars to volunteering at churches and shelters during the historic flood the Baton Rouge area experienced in 2016.
During that historic event he was there for his community in many ways. He took part in outreach at his church as he helped load supplies in cars for families in need. He also volunteered at a major movie studio which was converted into a shelter for displaced families. He was one of the first on site; carrying fresh bags of ice from freezers across campus through the pouring down rain to those who needed it, or playing football with kids and even helping lead yoga sessions with little girls as he smiled the entire time. Each building he walked into to volunteer you heard people either screaming his name, or asking who he was and wanting to take a picture with him. Wayde took the time to take pictures with each person who asked and offered to help every one of them in any way he could in hopes that it would briefly take their minds off of losing their homes, pets or family members as a result of the floods, that was Wayde Sims.
The tragic event last Friday morning was no different. From what we know, Wayde spent his final moments on earth with yet another selfless act: taking up for a friend. Wayde was seen helping fight off as many people as he could in order to protect his friend as they were severely outnumbered. He didn’t think of what could happen, he wasn’t scared of how many people he was up against, his only thoughts were to take up for his friend… that was Wayde Sims.
Unfortunately, the horrific event took a tragic turn and the world lost a special young man. We wish that you could have known Wayde as well as we did so that he could have had the impact on your life that he did on ours.
Now, we ask that you keep Wayde’s parents, family, extended family, teammates, coaches and friends in your prayers as they continue to deal with the loss as best they can.
With Heavy Hearts, Until Next Week…
The Coaching U Family