In a touching tribute to late teammate Wayde Sims, members of the LSU basketball team and its fans took a moment to pay tribute to Sims during the Tigers' win over Maryland in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Jacksonville, Florida.
During the game, LSU players chanted "44" in a team huddle when the team had 44 points, the number worn by Sims.
Sims was shot in the head and killed in September just hours before the LSU basketball team was set to open the season.
Fans also chanted 44 during the game, and teammate Emmitt Williams was captured during CBS' broadcast Saturday holding up four fingers on each hand.
"He's always with us," LSU guard Tremont Waters said. "We just knew we had to get this win for him.”
After the game, Waters described the emotional moment.
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When LSU had 44 points, they stopped and honored Wayde Sims who wore jersey No. 44. pic.twitter.com/IqCDdz3Snq— Sporting News (@sportingnews) March 23, 2019
The LSU basketball team dedicated its season to Sims before the start of the season. The Tigers wore a jersey patch this season in honor of Sims, and his locker was left untouched.
The 20-year-old Baton Rouge native was in his third year at LSU after attending University High. Sims was the Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year in the 2014-'15 season for U-High and won three state titles (2014-16) in his time there.
Sims' father, Wayne, played four seasons for legendary LSU coach Dale Brown from 1987-91 and is one of only nine players in program history to participate in four NCAA tournaments.
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Wayde Sims' father, Wayne, played four seasons for legendary LSU coach Dale Brown from 1987-91 and is one of only nine players in program history to participate in four NCAA tournaments.
Sims said he chose LSU because he wanted to stay close to home. "This team made me feel like part of a family," he said of his choice, according to LSU's website.
As LSU basketball tips off in its biggest game in more than a decade, it does so just a day after the six-month anniversary of the killing of …
Dyteon Simpson, the man accused of killing Sims, has since confessed in the shooting and said he is "totally remorseful."
Simpson, 20, had nearly no criminal history before the shooting aside from an arrest for violating curfew during flooding in 2016.
Simpson was charged with a count of second-degree murder and will face a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted. He was given a bond amount of $350,000 and has a bail reduction hearing scheduled for June 10.