Wayde Sims is gone but he’ll never be forgotten.
Before LSU’s 90-77 loss to Oklahoma State on Nov. 25, the Cowboys donned warmups with Sims’ name and No. 44 on their backs, a classy gesture for the late Tigers basketball player who was killed on Sept. 28 after trying to break up a fight around Southern University’s campus.
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) November 25, 2018
Oklahoma State gained plenty of respect for the thoughtful act.
— Jason Ramezan (@jasonramezan) November 25, 2018
Sims’ legacy will also live on at his high school alma mater, as his number will be retired at University Lab on Nov. 29.
Make plans to attend our home game this Thursday vs. Tara…tip-off will be between 6:45pm-7:00pm! We will retire Wayde Sims’ number…#44 following the game! #UHighBasketball 🙌🐯🏀 #forever44 @UHScubathletics
— Joe Spencer (@CoachJoeSpencer) November 26, 2018
Sims’ number is the first to be retired in any sport in University High history (established 1915) according to the school.
Sims guided the Cubs to three straight state titles (2014-2016) and captured the 2014-15 Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year award with averages of 17.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 62.8 percent overall shooting.
At LSU, the 6-foot-6 Sims averaged 5.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game last season in 10 starts and 32 appearances.
Sims held a major in sports administration.
LSU coach Will Wade reminisced on the impact the jovial Sims had on the team. Sims’ upbeat personality provided a spark to everyone in the locker room.
“Everybody on the team loved him,” Wade said to The Advocate. “He was the team jokester, the team prankster. He always had a smile and was bopping around. He got us going in practice.”
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva expressed the sentiment that all who knew Sims are feeling throughout the grieving process.
“It is an absolute tragedy when a young life gets cut off so senselessly,” Alleva said to The Advocate. “I’ve been (in athletics) for over 40 years, and this may be the saddest day that I’ve ever experienced in my career.”
LSU President F. King Alexander knew Wayde Sims personally and is absolutely saddened.
“To say we are grief-stricken is an understatement” Alexander wrote in a statement obtained by The Advocate. “Wayde was a beloved member of the LSU community whose leadership was treasured by his coach and his teammates. … The void left by his passing will be immense, and we ask that you keep his family in your prayers.”