Coach describes the moment he told team White Knoll athlete passed away

Updated: Jan. 18, 2017 at 5:13 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - White Knoll High School is remembering a student athlete who died Tuesday after falling ill over the weekend.

Brett Williams, 16, was a baseball star who recently committed to play baseball at the University of South Carolina. His high school head baseball coach, Charles Assey, said he was just at practice with Brett on Friday afternoon.

RELATED: See photos of Brett Williams.

Assey, like many others, received the bad news about his death Tuesday. He stood in front of the entire team Wednesday to grieve and try to put words together during this difficult time.

"Getting the news we got yesterday, and then having to stand in front of the team it's just the epitome of you never know what is going to happen," Assey said.

Assey spent many days coaching and mentoring Williams. Like many others, he's still in disbelief about losing someone he considered his own.

"I guess the hardest thing is knowing there is nothing you can do about it other than just be a support system and just try to encourage try to stay strong yourself," Assey said.

Williams died in the ICU at Palmetto Health Children's hospital.

The tight-knit community met with counselors at school on Wednesday.

"A lot of emotions, tears, questions, not understanding. As adults we don't understand so you can just imagine 15,16,17 years old," Assey said.

Pastor Rocky Purvis of Northside Baptist Church in Lexington said he has known Williams family for 10 years. Purvis called him a great student and a someone who loved the Lord.

"There's a lot of hurt, pain, there was even anger there," Purvis said.

Questions still remain about a healthy athlete whose life was cut too short.

Assey said after sitting with his entire team this morning they cried it out and then told some really good stories about Williams where the mood got a little lighter.

There's still no cause of death.

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