BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – “He was charismatic. He was really an electrifying figure,” said Damon Hamby, Dwayne Richardson’s pastor.
“He’s somebody that’ll light up a room, you know? Just his energy and his ability to make people smile,” said Woodrow Wilson teammate Maddex McMillen.
“He could walk into a room and you could tell that Dwayne was in there,” said Keynan Cook, another of Richardson’s teammates and close friends.
After an unimaginable loss, Woodrow Wilson finds themselves in shock in the wake of Richardson’s passing Sunday night.
“These past couple of days have probably been the hardest that I’ve ever had to deal with,” said McMillen. “Just losing somebody like that is just… you can’t describe it.”
On Monday, head coach Ron Kidd held a meeting with his team, asking them if they still wanted to compete in the state tournament against Morgantown this Thursday. The response was unanimous. They wanted to play.
“We want to play for him and win it for him,” said senior Ben Gilliam. “Because, no one understands how excited he was. He was more excited than any of us here.”
As the Woodrow Wilson and Beckley community continues to mourn this tragedy, players, coaches and friends want people to remember Dwayne as a fun-loving, respectful young man who was as dynamic off the court as he was on it.
“Just when I’d get on him, you know?” said head coach Ron Kidd. “He’d always smile. He might mumble something but he would always try to do what I wanted him to do and I just loved him for that.”
Woodrow plans to honor Dwayne on Thursday by having his number 12 jersey on the bench. And they’ll be playing for him for all 32 minutes.
“Kids have a way of making you strong,” Kidd said. “They showed strength, so that gave me strength. So, I hope I show them strength also.”