By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director, Strategic Communications
Northridge, Calif. – Tragedy can strike anytime, anywhere; near or far.
On Dec. 13, 2012, CSUN basketball player Trevone Williams received a phone call we all dread; news of the death of a parent, spouse, relative or a close friend. Williams' beloved father, Tyrone Williams, had died suddenly from diabetes in Los Angeles.
Tyrone Williams was only 45-years-old.
"My dad was my best friend, my mentor," said Trevone. "He taught me everything I knew. He was always in my life. His passing came so unexpected. When I received the phone call, I couldn't take it. I just lost it."
Williams won uniform #30 last season at CSUN to honor his late uncle, Trevone Castleberry. Williams has changed his uniform to #10 this year to honor his late father, who wore that uniform number when he was a star athlete at Crenshaw High School and at Antelope Valley College.
"#30 is still in my heart for my late uncle but #10 is 'home' to honor my best friend," said Trevone.
Tyrone Williams would be proud of his son.
"My dad taught me everything I knew and how to treat people," said Trevone. "My dad was a giver. He never asked for anything in return. He was always in the corner of the gym watching me play basketball. I miss him."
Trevone always remembers every Sunday morning when his father would wake him so they could go outside and just throw the ball around the yard. "My dad always told me to do what I want to do. I could always talk to my dad about everything. He was more than a father. He was my best friend."
Tyrone Williams had his share of tough times. Tyrone starred as a basketball player at Crenshaw High School and at Antelope Valley College where he set numerous scoring records that still stand today.
But a freak injury cost Tyrone dearly.
"My dad was playing in a game and somebody landed on his right foot, and crushed the bones in his foot," said Trevone. "My dad was tough and he didn't want to go to the hospital or have follow up appointments with the doctor. His foot injury became badly infected."
The infection became so bad, doctors had to amputate a part of Tyrone Williams' right leg.
"My dad remained in good spirits because he still had the opportunity to see me play," said Trevone. "We had many talks and he always wanted to talk about what I wanted to do in life. He always supported what I wanted to do."
Trevone Williams enjoyed a productive year during his redshirt freshman campaign last year at Cal State Northridge. His best game included season-highs in points (15) and rebounds (8) at Cal Poly.
"My dad was a much better athlete than I am," says Trevone, who helped lead Westchester High School to the state championship and the Los Angeles City championship during the 2009-10 season.
Ten months have passed since Trevone's father died, but everyday he still has vivid memories of his father he admires without reservation. "From the time I wake up, and during the course of the day, I think about my dad."