De'Antre Turman, 16, died tragically after breaking his neck during preseason practice for the Creekside Seminoles in Fairburn, Georgia. Friends and family remembered Turman as a strong football player and a strong man of God.
"He lived by football, family, friends, and God," Jamari Benning told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "That's all Tre Tre was thinking about. He always had a goal to always be great. He was never stingy, selfish; he was just a good person and a role model. He never had any doubt in God. He always kept his faith."
Turman was a junior at Creekside High and already had a scholarship to play at the University of Kentucky. He was also scheduled to play in an all-star game that will now be played in his honor. Friends and family turned out in force to pay tribute to Turman and his family.
The break occurred during a preseason scrimmage against Banneker High.
"It was a fundamental tackle," Glenn Ford, a coach who witnessed the accident, told USA Today. "Turman's head was up. It was a clean tackle. It was a clean tackle. He went down. Only God knows. You know, only God knows what happened. He was an outstanding kid, you know, through adversity, through all the adversity that he'd been going through, losing his mom, you know, he was just a good kid."
"Tre broke on it [the play], dislodged the ball and his body just went limp," Ford told WSB. "He immediately just went limp and he was on the ground. We were calling out his name, just trying to get him to come back, to open his eyes up, to move until the ambulance got there."
Turman lost his mother when he was only four years old. His father, fearing for his safety and upbringing, allowed him to live with family friend Tarsha Keller. She made sure that Turman was raised right and thanked everyone for turning out in support of "her" boy.
"It's a wonderful blessing to know that he has touched so many lives," Keller told a packed auditorium. "He was a blessing to all of us."
"He put it in his head to try to get out of the hood and persevered through the struggle," friend Demarcus Morgan added. "For him to die for something he loved, I couldn't even be mad because he was doing something he loved. God has a plan for us and the rest of the family. Maybe this is just what we need to bring us closer as a family."