LSU coach, athletic director hold emotional news conference on death of Wayde Sims

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU Men’s Head Basketball Coach Will Wade and LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva held an emotional news conference Friday morning on the death of junior basketball player Wayde Sims.

Sims was fatally shot around 12:25 a.m. on September 28 following an altercation in the 600 block of Harding Boulevard, near the campus of Southern University.

“Early this morning we got the call we never want to get,” Wade said. “We rushed down to the hospital and they let us know the news.”

Wade and his staff informed the entire team of Sims' death around 6:30 a.m. during the team’s previously scheduled workout.

It’s one of those days we want to remember Wade and what a great person he was. Besides the face he had the best impression of me on the team. He was just an unbelievable person and was continuing to grow and has done a great job.
LSU Men's Head Basketball Coach Will Wade

Wade described Sims as a player who was a “jokester” and “prankster” but always there for his teammates. The coach explained Sims was one of the few players on the team who had a car and would give teammates rides to practice or to the grocery store.

“That’s what makes it tough for all of us and for our team as well.  Everybody liked him. Anybody he came in contact with you automatically loved him and loved his personality. He was just a blast to be around.”
LSU Men's Head Basketball Coach Will Wade

The coach told reporters the team was devastated by the loss of Sims and the coaching staff would be working to support Sims family and the rest of the team.

Wade said the silver lining in the tragedy was rapid response from LSU and the Baton Rouge community.

Everybody talks about LSU family and everything but you can see that when things are tough and when things are hard, the outpouring of support at hospital was unbelievable for his family and our program and obviously the support for our players that were put in place so quickly this morning was just great.
LSU Men's Head Basketball Coach Will Wade

Having grown up in Baton Rouge Sims was the epitome of a hometown player with a deep love for the city and LSU athletics. Sims' father, Wayne Sims, played basketball for LSU in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Wade said that Sims had a tattoo of a tiger, LSU’s mascot, and a tattoo of "225,″ Baton Rouge’s area code.

“He embraced us from the start and we embraced him. He was growing and growing and growing," Wade said.

He also said the fact Sims was a positive player “on an upward trajectory," makes the death so tough.

“It’s your worst nightmare as a coach.”
LSU Men's Head Basketball Coach Will Wade

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva, who also spoke to the media, called Sims' death a tragedy.

“This world that we live in of athletics has its ups and its downs. There’s no lower downs what happened last night.”
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva

Alleva said LSU athletics would everything it possibly could to help Sims' family and would provide counseling for his teammates.

“I’ve been doing this for over 40 years and this may be the saddest day I have ever experienced in my career.”
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva

“I told the team this morning this is a day they will he never forget. They will never forget this day. It will live with them forever and we are going to deal with it the best way we can as we go forward,” Alleva said.

The LSU director said the university and the athletic program would continue to develop a strong bond despite Sims' untimely death.

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