Midlands mourns death of White Knoll High baseball standout
A White Knoll High School sophomore and baseball standout committed to play for the University of South Carolina has died, authorities said Tuesday.
According to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher, Brett Williams, 16, is believed to have died as the result of complications related to a recent illness, though she did not disclose what the illness was.
Fisher said Williams was pronounced dead after being transported to Palmetto Health Richland Hospital. He reportedly had gone to the hospital Monday after having trouble breathing.
A preliminary investigation by the Coroner’s Office did not find any indications of foul play. An autopsy was scheduled to be performed Wednesday, Fisher said.
News of Williams’ death was first disseminated on social media. William’s death hit friends, family, and the entire White Knoll community hard.
It also devastated USC head baseball coach Chad Holbrook.
“Brett Williams was a special kid. He had all the traits coaches love to have on their teams,” Holbrook said Tuesday in a statement. “He had great character, a tireless work ethic, and an incredible personality that we were all drawn to.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his beautiful family and everyone in the Lexington and White Knoll community,” Holbrook added. “ #22 will be deeply missed.”
In an earlier tweet, Holbrook had said: “2day our community lost a great kid, a great son, a great teammate, and a ‘coaches dream.’ Our heart aches 4 Williams family God Bless them!”
Williams was a 6-foot, 185-pound first baseman and left-handed pitcher for White Knoll. He committed to USC on January 5. He would have been part of the Gamecocks’ 2019 recruiting class.
Lexington County School District One will make extra counselors available at White Knoll High School on Wednesday to deal with student and staff”s grief. Many of those students could be seen Tuesday night at White Knoll’s basketball game wearing white T-shirts with “22 B.W.” and other handwritten sentiments honoring their friend and fallen classmate.
In addition to friends and family, other local schools, community members, and the Lexington County Blowfish baseball organization also took to social media to send condolences to the Williams family Tuesday, as did other individuals and other organizations across the Midlands and the state.