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Rare Cancer Takes Life of Rising Basketball Star

Ryse Williams, 18, a rising basketball star committed to play at Loyola Marymount on a scholarship died from a rare form of cancer. Hundreds mourn the loss of the Redondo Beach high school senior passing Thursday, a day before graduation.

“He was a star, but he didn’t act like it,” his high school principal, Jens Brandt, told NBC4 at a vigil in Williams’ hometown of Corona. “That was Ryse. He was an exceptional young man.”

It was reported that Williams started feeling sick weeks ago. He was later diagnosed with stage four renal medullary carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the kidney.

“He was stricken with an ugly, nasty cancer,” his father, O’Brey Williams, said. “Once you’re diagnosed with it, it’s too late.”

Williams’ jersey will be placed on a chair at graduation as a way for Redondo Union High School to honor him.

“Right now, I’m looking out to all of you guys. I just can’t help but be happy,” said his sister, Sierra Williams, as she addressed the crowd Thursday. “He got to live 18 full years of a life of love from all of you.”

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