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Remembering Trey

Five players were honored as part of North Lincoln’s senior night. Four in body and one in spirit.
Kenny Bethea, Kyle Baker, Alex Loftin and Reid Ketner watched as fellow-senior Trey Whiteside had his jersey retired.
Whiteside, a 16-year old, who passed away in a tragic car accident last summer was there in spirit as Principal Rick Freeman presented his parents father Dean Whiteside, step-mother Toni and mother Marsha. with one of his game jerseys and unveiled the banner that will be a fixture in the gym.
“Trey meant a lot of to these boys. He meant a lot to them,” Knights’ head coach David Johnson said. “It was a good night to recognize him,” he added.
Ketner has honored Whiteside all season with wearing wristbands with Trey’s initials and No. 35 on them. Many times after games last season, the two friends would stay behind and shoot basketball, just playing the game they loved.
Either by coincidence, or perhaps not, Ketner doesn’t stay behind nearly as much to shoot baskets after a game. And who can blame him? Without his friend, it’s probably not the same.
That’s been the theme of the Knights’ season, ‘Without Trey, it just not the same.’ Johnson said the first practice was different, the first game of the season was different and throughout the season Whiteside’s teammates have often recalled memories about their teammate.
“He was a great guy, a great player and had an awful lot of heart for this team,” Johnson said.
The kid, who joked around a lot, was quick to flash a smile and was always upbeat will always have a presence in the Knights’ gym, a fact Johnson and everyone else who was touched by his life appreciates.
“No matter what he’ll always be a part of North Lincoln basketball and of that gym. And that was a place he loved to be, so it was fitting for him to be remembered there,” he said.
North Lincoln Athletic Director Mark Lackey was one of many who has vivid memories about Trey.
“He had a zest for life. He was one of those kids that could brighten a room. When you saw him, just about no matter how bad your day was, he could bring a smile to your face,” he said.
February 7th, 2006 was the day Whiteside became a part of the Knights’ gym but he had long been a part of many people’s lives.
“It was a very special night for all the seniors. It was a night where we felt like Trey was once again a part of us,” Lackey said.
by John Mark Brooks

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