Ryse Williams, a Loyola Marymount basketball signee has died a day before he was to graduate from Redondo Union (Calif.), the school confirmed in a message to students and families.
Williams, 18, died after a brief battle with cancer. The school said he “fell ill several weeks ago.”
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. The school said it plans to honor Williams at Friday’s graduation ceremony.
Dear RUHS Students and Families,
I am writing this with a heavy heart. As you may be aware, our school has experienced the loss of a student and it has affected us deeply. Ryse Williams, a twelfth grade student, fell ill a few weeks ago and sadly passed away from cancer this morning.
We expect that there will be a variety of emotions and responses by students to what has occurred. I encourage you to openly discuss your child’s reactions and feelings regarding Ryse’s passing. The most important thing we can do as a school is to be supportive of our students and allow them to express their feelings.
Special counseling services were made available to all students and staff today at school.
If you feel that your child needs assistance, we have attached resources for your review. As well as the Gathering Place:
We plan on recognizing Ryse, his contributions to RUHS, and his family at our graduation tomorrow.
Please keep Ryse’s family, classmates, coaches, teammates, and friends in your thoughts.
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.