Boys BB: Cancer claims Redondo star

Former Redondo Union of Redondo Beach all-stater Ryse Williams dies on eve of his high school graduation and the 2017 NBA Draft. Williams was 18 years old.

While many in the California basketball community were enjoying and celebrating the four California players taken in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft on Thursday night, some were mourning the passing of shooting guard Ryse Williams. The 6-foot-2 senior passed away on Thursday morning after battling a rare form of cancer.

Ryse Williams’ death early Thursday was stunning news for Southern California fans getting ready for the NBA Draft. Photo: James Escarcega.

Williams was hospitalized a week ago. The SoCal basketball community heard of his illness and word spread that it was a serious condition. However, there was conflicting news and information about what that the illness was, as word spread he had a serious lung or chest infection. Only in the past day was the seriousness of his illness revealed. Williams was 18.

Williams was set to graduate from Redondo Union on Friday and had earned an athletic scholarship to Loyola Marymount University in Southern California. He was joining a stellar recruiting class for the Lions that included Long Beach Poly’s Zafir Williams, La Verne Bonita’s Joe Quintana and Chino Hills’ Eli Scott.

Williams had a teammate with a serious health scare as a sophomore when ex-teammate Cameron High had a cardiovascular condition that was detected early enough to allow him to play after high school. High played at Riverside City College during the 2015-16 season.

As a senior at Redondo Union, Williams played for Vic Martin and was a All-State Division I pick and the Seahawks’ leading scorer. As an underclassman, he played for Reggie Morris Jr., who helped recruit him to LMU on his one year on the coaching staff. He has now returned to the high school game as the head coach at Culver City High School.

Williams is survived by his father O’Brey, mother Lana and sister Sierra.

Cal-Hi Sports sends its condolences to the Williams family and his teammates and friends at Redondo Union.

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