Western Heights students watch Wednesday as a sign is unveiled in memory of classmate Brennan Wade Daigle, who died last May after battling embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer in which muscular tumors attach themselves to bones. (Brad Puckett / American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, May 25, 2012 1:17 PM
Western Heights Elementary on Wednesday dedicated its basketball court in honor of “a special boy” who went to school there.
The Brennan Wade Daigle Memorial Basketball Court was named for Brennan Daigle, who died last May after battling embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer in which muscular tumors attach themselves to bones.
Amanda Dickerson, a teacher at Western Heights, initiated the idea of dedicating the court to Daigle.
“I taught him for three years. He was such a special boy, a leader, a fighter. I had a few different ideas before deciding to dedicate the basketball court,” Dickerson said. “He loved basketball. That court is where he loved to be. I figured this was the best way to honor his memory.”
Daigle’s parents and his sister, Lauren, attended the ceremony. His parents, Albert and Kristy, said they had no idea what Dickerson was planning.
“We didn’t know anything about it until it was already done,” Albert said. “I’m feeling very proud and just excited that his name is living on.”
“It was a big surprise,” Kristy said. “It’s a good feeling. I’m excited that everyone who sees this sign will say, ‘Tell me the story of Brennan.’ ”
Jacory Washington, a basketball player at Westlake High School, used to play basketball with Daigle and attended the ceremony with Daigle’s parents.
“It feels good to know that no one has forgotten about him,” Washington said. “It’s going to be good that people will look at the sign every time they play basketball here.”
At the ceremony, Dickerson presented the sign with Daigle’s name on it. The sign was donated by Jobe Johnson with Sign Star. It will be mounted on the wall of the covered basketball court in August.
At the dedication, Western Heights Principal Van Richmond announced the creation of an annual three-on-three basketball tournament named after Daigle. The “Brennan Daigle Championship” will be held each year near the anniversary of his death.
“I’m very excited,” Dickerson said. “I know he is smiling up in heaven.”
Daigle’s parents will carry on their son’s legacy at the Sulphur Heritage Festival on Saturday. Colors for a Cause — Louisiana, a group started because of him, will have a booth at the festival and will accept donations.