COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Family, friends and members of the University of Maryland community gathered Thursday to celebrate the life of Clifton Lyonell Tucker at Memorial Chapel on campus. Tucker and three other passengers tragically lost their lives in a car accident on Memorial Day, May 31 after participating in a Memorial Armed Forces basketball tournament in San Antonio, Texas. He was 29 years old.
A large contingent gathered at the Memorial Chapel to pay tribute to Tucker’s memory, including Hall of Fame head coach Gary Williams, Maryland alum and former assistant coaches Keith Booth and Chuck Driesell, former assistant Robert Ehsan and a litany of Maryland coaches, administrators and friends of the program.
“It is an honor to stand here and represent our staff in memory of Cliff,” said Williams. “Cliff was a big part of some of our great teams at Maryland, and so many people cared about him. He brought a willingness to sacrifice for the team. He did all the right things on the court, but he was an even better person. Young kids at camp loved him, he just had an aura about him. Everyone wanted to be around Cliff.”
In a moving gesture, Coach Williams presented Tucker’s son Dallas with his 2010 ACC Championship ring following the ceremony.
Booth also shared his memories recruiting and coaching Tucker, including Tucker’s emergence at Maryland’s summer basketball camps and his recruiting trips to Chapin High School in El Paso, Texas.
“Cliff and I had a father-son type of relationship, and he was one of the most selfless kids I’ve ever been around. His goal was to be a Maryland Terp and to graduate and he did that. He brought hope to the team; he brought laughter, a smile and joy.”
Tucker’s teammates Adrian Bowie, Eric Hayes, Dino Gregory, Sean Mosley and David Neal served as pallbearers for the service. A message of condolences from the Prince George’s County Council was read, commending Tucker’s passion for people and all the lives he touched in the community.
Tucker was laid to rest at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, Md. on Thursday afternoon.