ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Hundreds of people gathered Sunday night to remember a Virginia high school athlete killed by an accused drunk driver on Friday.
Friends and family shared stories about Braylon Meade, who was a senior on the boy’s varsity basketball team at Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington.
The impact he had on his teammates and the greater Arlington community was evident by the number of people who showed up to remember him.
Principal Antonio Hall described Meade as “A scholar, an athlete and a young person who was dedicated to the pursuit of being selfless in service to the community.”
Meade wasn’t just a basketball player, but a role model to others.
“Thank you for showing me what family and brotherhood really means. You were one of the people I look up to in life,” said teammate Noah Samuel.
He stayed late to help his teammates on the court.
“He was always (saying) ‘coach, what can I do? What can I do? What can I do?’ Just be yourself Braylon. Just be you,” said Coach Robert Dobson.
And he just knew how to be a good friend.
“Braylon always knew to tell his people he loved them, make his people feel good about themselves and that’s what I inspire to do the rest of my life,” said his friend James. “Not just your family but your friends as well. Tell them you love them because life is way too short not to.”
Sunday night was about remembering who Braylon was and how he lived, but how he died isn’t lost on his friends.
“To all the people who are planning to make irrational decisions before driving, before putting the key into the ignition, think about the lives you are putting at risk,” Samuel said. “Think about the selfish decisions that you’re doing (that) can impact others on the road including yourself.”
Meade was planning to attend Northeastern University with his girlfriend of three years.
“Our love was so meaningful and special to us and I will never ever forget you,” said Christine Wilson.
“The response that you see here tonight doesn’t surprise me. This is an outstanding community. I love this community,” Hall said.
Arlington County police have charged a teen with DUI/ involuntary manslaughter in Meade’s death. He remains in a juvenile detention facility.