HIGH POINT, N.C. - Hundreds gathered at Southwest Guilford High School tonight to remember Dez Woods.The 16-year-old basketball player died on Sunday, when the car he was in crashed on Interstate 85.
There were a lot of tears, shed by students, teachers, faculty and friends Tuesday night, as they held candles, shared stories, and prayed for their friend Dez. Pastors who spoke said tonight was a tragic reminder of how short life can be --- but how important it is to love one another.
If you ask his friends, the thing about Dez Woods was whatever he did - he did it big. He had big hair, a big smile, and big plans for his future. But most importantly, he had big love for everyone around him.
“He loved everybody. He never hated anybody. I've never heard him talk bad about one soul, about one person,” said his teammate and friend Jalen Snipes.
In death, his friends and fellow students had big love for him too. The Southwest Guilford community is still coming to grips with the loss of their 16-year-old classmate, killed in a car crash over the weekend. For them - it doesn't seem real, because they saw him just last week.
“You give them a hug, you do your handshake, you call them their nickname and then you say goodbye, not actually thinking it's a goodbye forever,” said Ciarrah Brown.
“Everyday I'd look at him in first period, and I'd just see him and he'd be smiling and it would make my day better from the start. But to turn around and not see him there?” said Savannah Overman.
The tears and hugs won't bring him back, but the grieving will help. His friends and teammates, relatives and coaches made a promise to never forget him, and to live life like he did - with big, big love.
“God's got a good one up there for real,” said Snipes.
Cheerleaders made ribbons with his number – number 2. They are planning to wear them every basketball game. They say the school is considering retiring his jersey.
The crash happened Sunday morning, as Woods was riding with Former student Brandon Lamberth. Police say the car ran off the road and crashed into trees. Woods died on impact. Lamberth was the driver. He's charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. Troopers say neither speed, drugs nor alcohol were factors.