Wayde Sims was killed in a shooting Friday morning.

LSU junior basketball player Wayde Sims was fatally shot during a fight in the early hours of Friday morning. Sims, the son of former LSU player Wayne Sims, was a 20-year-old junior who’d played in 63 games (starting 15) over his first two seasons at LSU, and he was just hours away from the Tigers’ first official practice this year. As per Baton Rouge police, an argument outside a fraternity party at Southern University (also in Baton Rouge) turned into a fight shortly after midnight, and one shot was fired; Sims was shot in the head and later pronounced dead at hospital. Two bystanders caught part of the encounter on video, which the police released, but no arrests had been made as of Friday evening.

Friday saw much of the LSU community, as well as the wider basketball community, offering up tributes to Sims. Head coach Will Wade called him “an unbelievable person” and “a blast to be around all the time,” saying “he’d do anything for anybody on our team.” Wade also said “We are all devastated. We need your prayers for Wayde, for his family, for all of us. We are heartbroken.” Athletic director Joe Alleva and university president F. King Alexander had their own tributes for Sims, too:

“Wayde Sims’ loss is simply unbelievable to us right now,” said vice chancellor and director of athletics Joe Alleva. “There are no words that can express our sorrow for his parents and family. He was such a lovable young man who was full of joy. We are circling around his teammates and friends who need all the love and support we can give them. We are praying for his family, for his parents. God bless Wayde Sims.”

“We are stunned and shaken,” LSU President F. King Alexander said. “To say we are grief-stricken is an understatement. Wayde was a beloved member of the LSU community whose leadership was treasured by his coach and his teammates. I knew him personally and liked him tremendously. The void left by his passing will be immense, and we ask that you keep his family in your prayers.”

Sims averaged 6.5 points per game as a freshman and 5.6 as a sophomore, also recording 211 rebounds, 37 steals, 35 blocks and 29 assists over the course of his career. He was named the 2014-15 Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year and a first team all-state selection at University High (on the LSU campus), where he was part of three straight state titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Many of those who covered him in high school and college chimed in with tributes Friday:

Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards also passed along his condolences:

And other schools chimed in as well:

As did ESPN personalities Marcus Spears and Jay Bilas:

LSU was set to unveil a statue of Billy Cannon, the school’s only Heisman winner, Friday night ahead of Saturday’s football game against Ole Miss, but decided to cancel that public unveiling after Sims’ death. The basketball team also cancelled their practice. Saturday’s football game will feature a tribute to Sims:

It’s awful to see anyone die so young, and Sims clearly made a major impact on his team, his school, and his community. Our thoughts go out to Sims’ friends, family and all those impacted by his loss.

[The Advocate]


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.