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Loyola Marymount basketball signee dies day before high school graduation


File Photo © File Photo File Photo Ryse Williams, a Loyola Marymount basketball signee has died a day before he was to graduate from Redondo Union (Calif.). Coach Vic Martin confirmed Williams' passing to USA TODAY High School Sports.

Williams, 18, died after a brief battle with cancer.

A spokesman for Loyola Marymount also confirmed Williams had died.

The school's athletic booster club, Sea Hawks 12th Man, posted a remembrance to Williams, a 6-4 shooting guard.

Williams committed to Loyola Marymount last July and signed his letter of intent in November.

"I send my heartfelt sympathy on behalf of our program and my staff to the family of Ryse," Loyola Marymount coach Mike Dunlap said in a statement. "As good of a basketball player as he was, it was his personality and character that stood above all."

"You never want to hear of a young person who is unable to fully make his mark on the world," Athletic Director Dr. William Husak said in the statement. "On behalf of the Athletics Department and Loyola Marymount University, we send our condolences and support to the Williams family and the men's basketball community."

Final exams were scheduled at the school Thursday. It is unclear whether graduation will go on as scheduled or the plans to honor Williams at the ceremony in some fashion.

Williams' childhood friend, Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate, also tweeted after Williams' death.

Williams helped Redondo Union to Bay League titles in each of his four season.

As a junior, he averaged 14.8 points. 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in leading Redondo Union to the CIF Division I championship semifinals.

As a senior, Williams averaged 20 points and five rebounds and was named MVP. Redondo qualified for the Southern Section Open Division playoffs before losing in the second round.

Williams most recently had 10 points in the annual Collision Series all-star event between top stars from the Southern Section and City Section.

He also played last year for the Cal Supreme AAU program on the Nike EYBL circuit. Shareef O'Neal, an Arizona commit and son of Shaquille O'Neal, noted on Twitter that he wears the No. 11 for Cal Supreme that Williams had worn.

Tributes on social media followed news of his death.


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