Will Starks Remembered on Father’s Day
Basketball Coach and Father Figure to Many Passed Away This Week
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Will Starks may have been known as a basketball coach, but to many he was so much more.
“My dad was more than a coach, first of all he was a dad,” said Will’s son Dyami Starks. “He was a dad, not just to me but he was a dad to this whole city.”
Many kids looked up to Starks, who passed away this week at the age of 49, and saw him as a father figure. Kids like Shaquille and Quinton Coleman.
“He was always there,” said Shaquille Coleman. “He was the first person I turned to when I had to make a big decision or anything like that.”
“He made sure that you were good and he looked out for us,” added Quinton Coleman. “He worked us out to make us better.”
Dyami Starks is friends with many of the kids Will impacted. He says he gets filled with pride when he thinks about all of the kids Will looked after.
“For a lot of kids around here that didn’t have that strong father figure, he was.,” he said.
Dyami adds he’s been most proud of the way the community responded to Will’s passing.
“I took the family up, up to the park where we had his league,” “Everybody’s writing nice messages in chalk. I love you, Will, RIP, heaven gained an angel. My father touched a lot of people to the point where grown men are locating chalk and writing down messages for him. That’s pretty powerful.”
There are also memories, lots of memories, of the man known as ‘Da Boss.’
“We would all go back and forth, not only with stories, but his sayings.,” said Dyami. “There’s no magic formula. Are you a brick or a sponge? Birds of a feather flock together. He had all these sayings and if you said them around these people that he was a father figure to, we all get a laugh out of it, because we all could connect to it.”
The son has already started carrying on his father’s legacy, by continuing the Will Starks Basketball League, founded the year Dyami was born. However, Dyami says he doesn’t want to be the only one carrying on in Will’s name.
“Follow his lead, follow his message,” said Dyami. “He’s no longer with us, but the things he left us will last forever I really believe Duluth needs more of that.”
An important message, not just on Father’s Day, but every day.