De’Antre Turman was known as “Tray Tray” to his family and friends, and when the teen was tragically killed during a football practice this weekend, all who knew him were devastated.
To say De’Antre Turman’s future was promising is an understatement — the top prospect in Georgia had already been offered a University of Kentucky scholarship for his lauded football skills.
Turman was just 16 when, in a Friday night scrimmage, a tackle went wrong — and the 11th grader broke his neck. An ambulance arrived within 15 minutes, and he was rushed to a local hospital, but died later Friday night.
Creekside High School is devastated following the horrifying incident, and former Creekside head coach Johnny T. White recalled a kid who was a joy to coach. White lamented:
“He’s one of the best kids I’ve ever dealt with in my 18 years of coaching, period, hands down. He was quiet, but always smiling. He had a real good spirit. It was always yes sir, no sir. He enjoyed his team, and he loved his teammates. Just a great kid.”
Fulton County school system spokeswoman Samantha Evans told the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of this student. This is a truly horrific way to begin a school year.”
Atlanta coach Glenn Ford worked with De’Antre Turman during the off-season, and told reporters:
“He was a good kid, an outstanding football player, and loved his parents. He… persevered through everything and loved the game he died for. He will be missed.”
Tarsha Keller has raised Turman as a son since his mother died years ago. She says De’Antre was like one of her own children, and had lived with her since he was just four years old.
Keller says football was his passion, and explains:
“That is what made him the happiest. Being the competitor and playing different sports made him happy… We’ve raised him as our own.”
A vigil was planned last night for De’Antre Turman as the community copes with the loss of the beloved star athlete.