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Pain, Sorrow overshadowed with celebration of life

By John Clayton, Staff Reporter
Published on Friday, January 15, 2016

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Nathan Moore's death reminded us how fragile life is.
 

Leigh Clement Photo

Nathan Moore's death reminded us how fragile life is.

 



Enlarge photo

The scorebook from the Greer versus Blue Ridge game has Nathan Moore listed on Greer's side.
 

The scorebook from the Greer versus Blue Ridge game has Nathan Moore listed on Greer's side.

 

 • Brother's basket triggers emotional memorial.

• Tribute precedes game.

• Obituary. 

• Greer player found dead

Time ticked away on the scoreboard Thursday night.

Moments after the zeroes flashed on the clock, Greer Head Coach Greg Miller bee-lined toward his young daughter, sweeping her up in his arms and holding her because in this game scores didn’t matter.

Daughters mattered. Sons mattered. Brothers mattered. Friends and rivals mattered in a standing-room only gym at Blue Ridge High School. There were no “we” and “them.” Not this time. This time, there was only “us.”

Because in our world, 18-year-old point guards are supposed to wake up. They are supposed to talk to a pretty girl; they are supposed to hang with their friends; they are supposed to step back and shoot the 3.

They, with all their youth and incredible potential, are supposed to be celebrated, not mourned.

There were reminders of Nathan Moore’s short life all over the gym – posters and photos. His mother, Tracy, somehow strong enough to wear his No. 11 home white jersey and sit behind Greer’s bench, was there to support her son, Kyle, who was somehow strong enough to suit up and take his brother’s place in the Yellow Jackets’ starting lineup.

But the most poignant one was Nathan’s name in the official scorebook. He died Tuesday, found in his room at home. No sign of foul play, they say. He’d been sick, they say.

And then he was gone.

“Nate was my best friend – basically, my brother,” Keishawn Brewton said. “We hung out every weekend. He was a loving person – he didn’t dislike anybody.

“I’m trying to stay strong  – I know he’d want me to stay strong, right now. But it’s hard times for me right now, man.”

Brewton showed up at Thursday night’s game with several of his Spartanburg High School teammates to pay respects to his friend on their most common ground – the basketball court. He and Nathan began playing AAU basketball together in fifth grade, and a friendship was born.

The bonds that are formed are some of the best things about sports.

But so was Thursday night, amidst the pain and the sorrow.

Blue Ridge students, fans and staff welcomed their fiercest rivals as friends; they shared their tears.

Somewhere in the midst of it all was a basketball game.

The Yellow Jackets were courageous behind Kyle Moore, who was cheered when he scored the game’s first point from the free-throw line, and when he stepped back and shot the 3.

Kyle said his brother would have probably cried himself had he seen the outpouring of love and emotion Thursday night.

We have to have faith that he did see it.

And we have to be cognizant of the fact that the clock keeps ticking away, and we, like Miller, should sweep those we love into our arms and hold them oh, so tight.

 

 

 

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