Oxford's Joel Van Meter Remembers Torrey Ward


Sad news out of Illinois is affecting members of the local sports community. Illinois State assistant basketball coach Torrey Ward was one of seven people killed in a plane crash leaving the NCAA Tournament last night. The plane went down two miles outside of the Bloomington airport. The private plane carried Ward as well as ISU Deputy Athletic Director Aaron Leetch.

Ward played college basketball at UAB then served as an assistant coach at Jacksonville State under head coach Mike LaPlante. He coached alongside fellow assistant Joel Van Meter (current boys head coach at Oxford HS) and the two were friends for more than 15 years. Ward was in Van Meter's wedding and had a strong friendship both on and off the court. Van Meter spoke with TV24 about his friend and colleague.

Ward was not only known as a great player and friend but also an up-and-coming star coach. After his days with the Gamecocks, he also served as an assistant on Andy Kennedy's staff at Ole Miss. Ward was 36 years old and is survived by two children and his fiancé.

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