MALONE, Fla. (WMBB) — The Malone High School basketball team is continuing to mourn the loss of teammate Ocasio Murff.
Murff passed away in a car accident early Sunday morning.
Tigers head coach, Steve Welch, said the rising senior was a big leader for the team.
“The guys just kind of followed what he did, he set the tone for the team in so many ways,” Welch said.
Malone High School Principal Doug Powell said he was not only a great player, but also influential on campus.
“He was a leader and he didn’t want it, he was not a loud mouth he was not boisterous, he was so calm and cool but everybody loved him,” Powell said.
Playing for the Tigers was a family tradition as Murff’s two older brothers played for the school as well.
“He’s always been a part of our program,” Welch said.
“They are Tigers they’ve been a part of this family since they’ve been here and lived off Highway 2 they’re active in everything we do. Great mom and dad, support everything, raised a great family,” Powell said.
Welch said Murff was a good balance of cool and collected while also being assertive. According to MaxPreps, in 29 games played, he averaged 14.3 points, 3.7 assists and five rebounds per game.
“Never backed down from a challenge, so if we’re going into the game and we want somebody we try to figure out who to put on the other teams best player we already know it was Ocasio,” Welch said.
The head coach said he could depend on the tremendously athletic and intelligent player to make him a better coach.
“One thing we say here when we’re in our huddle is family on three and you know maybe we fuss and argue sometimes but we’re always there for each other,” Murff said.
The loss is impacting the entire tight knit community.
“When you know somebody through and through it really changes the reactions when something like this happens,” Powell said.
Murff’s visitation will be on Friday evening from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. at McKinnie Funeral Home in Campbellton. His funeral will be on Saturday in the Malone gym at 1 p.m.