Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate played AAU basketball as a kid with Ryse Williams, a Loyola Marymount signee who died Thursday after a brief battle with cancer.
Tate was a member of the Class of 2016 at Junipero Serra (Gardena, Calif.). He was ranked as the No. 11 athlete in the class by the 247Sports Composite as a senior.
Tate shared his memories and his relationship with Williams with USA TODAY Sports:
“Ryse Williams was my brother, just like all of my AAU brothers. We played elite basketball together since the age of 9. We traveled the country together, played in national AAU championship games and tournaments. We were really young learning about life together; how to work as a team and be leaders, and we had a lot of fun meeting other ballers who loved to play the game of basketball, too.
“Our experience together taught us about true brotherhood through blood, sweat and tears, wins and defeats. And the bond between myself, Ethan Thompson, Terrance McBride, Spenser Freedman, Michael Feinberg, Evan Baity, Chris Simmons, David Singleton and others teammates will never be broken. We were well coached so when we hit the court we had no fear and we played like a well-oiled machine. We had the best experiences that helped us to become grounded young men.
“Although I have been away in college, I would sometimes get an opportunity to watch Ryse play in high school during my visits home, and I was happy and excited for him about to go to LMU and ball out.
“I’m praying for Ryse, Dr. & Mrs. Williams and the entire Williams family.”