SPRINGFIELD — Kamari Williams, a high school basketball coach and son of state Rep. Bud L. Williams, has died.
Williams is the son of Gloria and Bud Williams and cousin of City Councilor Marcus Williams.
“Please keep Bud Williams and the rest of the family in your thoughts and especially prayers, during this tremendously difficult time,” Marcus Williams posted on his Facebook page while mourning his older cousin’s death.
Williams was a graduate of the former Cathedral High School and received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Rhode Island College in 2008.
He was an outstanding guard and played basketball in high school and college. He was a Little East Conference Tournament title-winner in 2007 and was inducted in Rhode Island College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
Before being named as a coach, Williams coached junior varsity basketball at Cathedral and worked as the Detention Diversion Advocacy Program in Springfield. He also taught math at the High School of Science and Technology.
Rival East Longmeadow High School’s basketball team tweeted their condolences: “We are devastated to hear the news about the tragic passing of Sci-Tech Coach Kamari Williams. Our deepest condolences go out to the Williams family and Sci-Tech community.”
Former students reacted with sadness to hear Williams had died. They said he made them better players and he cared as a teacher, pushing them to stay out of trouble and do well in school.
Janae Pope, of Springfield, said she had Williams as a math teacher in her freshman year and again in 11th grade and he really pushed her to work hard. She was originally slated to graduate in 2019 but in part because of him, she earned her diploma in 2018.
“He really wanted me to graduate,” she said. “It was his motivation. He really pushed people because he wanted the best out of people.”
She said he was easy to get along with as well. The two may have disagreed in the morning but by the end of the day, they would be back on good terms.
“This was really a good man. He played a big part in me graduating because he actually cares about his students,” another former student said.
The family has not released information about funeral services yet.