GREENVILLE, MS (WLBT) - As the sun set outside of Greenville High School Sunday night, friends, classmates and city leaders came to celebrate the life of Jeremiah Williams.
Light from cell phones replacing some of the heaviness in people’s hearts.
“Repeat after me. We are one. We are Jeremiah. We are one. We are Jeremiah."
Williams, a junior defensive back for Greenville High School, died Friday, a week after he broke his C1 and C4 vertebrae in a game against Madison Central.
Desmond Washington and Williams met in elementary school. They played every sport together and considered themselves brothers.
“When I see two ambulances I knew it was serious," said Washington. "When I seen him drop to the ground I knew it was really serious. Tears just came to my eyes instantly. I can’t see one of my brothers or one of my loved ones like that.”
Washington says Jeremiah was the one that kept everyone motivated about life, about everything.
“When you sad, when you’re down. You could always count on Jeremiah to put a smile on your face,” Washington recalled. “For him to just be away, you feel me like, just gotta uplift yourself now.”
Washington says Williams loved playing on the gridiron, but his passion was on the court.
“He wanted to make it out of here. He wanted to leave," said Washington. "He loved basketball. That’s what he really loved. He was just out here because we are as one, we’re brothers, we play everything together.”
To further honor Jeremiah Williams, Greenville Mayor Erick Simmons has declared November 15th, Jeremiah Williams Day.
On that day, each of the city’s three McDonald’s will donate 20 percent of their sales to the Williams family to help cover medical bills. That’s in addition to the funds currently being raised through Jeremiah’s GoFundMe account set up by the father of a Madison Central football player.
So far, it has raised over $40,000.