On Monday, June 20th, 2016 Herman Williams collapsed during a basketball game at the First Baptist Marianna where he was playing a pick-up game with some friends he had graduated high school with. After he collapsed he was taken to Jackson Hospital, where they were unable to revive him. Herman Williams was only nineteen, and the cause of his death has not yet been determined. The Medical Examiner’s Office has jurisdiction over the body of Williams and are currently looking into the cause of the death.
Williams had just graduated from Marianna High School this past Spring and had a scholarship in place to attend Louisiana-Lafayette College for basketball in the Fall. The community is mourning the loss of this rising basketball star, and students of Marianna High School held a candlelight vigil on Tuesday at the flagpole of his old high school to pay their respects to their former classmate. Also two of William’s former coaches expressed their condolences:
- One of William’s former coaches Travis Blanton said that “no one could dislike William’s, he was a great kid in every way.”
- Another coach of William’s Matt Anderson said that “William’s was an incredibly hard worker, a great team leader, vocal, put the team first! Just a great young man, very cordial, mannerly, knew how to act and carry himself, personified a “high character” student-athlete.”
Not only did Williams play basketball, he also played football at Marianna High School, the team is called the Bulldogs. His 6 foot 3-inch stature though earned him his scholarship for basketball over football at Louisiana-Lafayette College. Well attending Marianna High School, Williams played basketball all four years, although he had an injury that kept him out of the game most of his junior year, he made a come back his senior year. He averaged eighteen points a game, leading his team to twenty wins and eventually the playoffs his senior year.
Williams was scheduled to leave for college in just two short weeks to join Louisiana-Lafayette College and play for their basketball team, everyone knew he had such a bright future ahead of him. While attending one school, Williams played basketball and he was assigned jersey #0, and that stuck with him. His family had to special order the jersey for the college he was attending because they did not have that number on their team currently. William’s family asked if they could keep the #0 jersey as it had already been paid for and they are going to use it for his star shooting guard. Williams was very close to his family, so this is a very devastating time for them. Louisiana-Lafayette men’s basketball coach Bob Marlin released a statement to the press after he heard the news of William’s passing, he stated that William’s was “going to be a perfect compliment to our team, both as a person as well as a basketball player.” He will not only be greatly missed by his family, his former classmates, and coaches, but he will also be missed by the Louisiana-Lafayette College basketball team he was set to join in just a couple of weeks.