DETROIT (WXYZ) - A high school basketball coach who passed away hours after a big win has left a lasting legacy on his players and community.
Detroit Consortium College Preparatory High School’s basketball coach Al Anderson died Saturday just hours after the team won its game against an Ohio team. The 40-year-old had a history of heart issues and was fitted with a pacemaker.
He leaves behind a wife, teenage daughter and countless “sons” on the basketball team.
“That’s our main goal,” said assistant coach Anthony Atwater. “Get these kids in school, mentor them, make them into men.”
Atwater says Anderson was a father figure to many of the students who didn’t have a strong male role model in their lives. One of Anderson’s proudest moments wasn’t on the hardwood. It was last year when six of his seven senior players graduated and went on to college.
“(The loss) is trying to a certain degree,” said James “Cap” Mitchell, an assistant coach. “But it’s joyful knowing how he developed, what he became, and the legacy that he has left for these young men.”
Mitchell not only was an assistant coach for Anderson, but a close family friend. Mitchell knew Anderson as a toddler, and even coached him when he was a teen.
Mitchell and Atwater held practice with the Consortium Cougars Varsity team Monday afternoon as planned, they say it’s what Anderson would’ve wanted. The team is scheduled to play its first game since Anderson’s passing on Tuesday.
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