Whether it was getting a child to a basketball camp or allowing them an opportunity to meet a West Virginia University basketball coach or player, Roy Simms made his mark on the community.
Simms, 52, passed away Nov. 17 after collapsing during a Davis &?Elkins College men's basketball practice. He was serving as an assistant coach at the school.
The Senators' home contest at 4 p.m. today against Pitt-Johnstown will be dedicated to the memory of Simms and his family. All five of Simms' siblings will be introduced before the game.
At 7 p.m., a memorial service and eulogy will be held at Harper-McNeeley Auditorium, followed by a Celebration of Roy's Life in Halliehurst, where friends can gather to share their memories of Simms.
Simms was a standout athletic performer during his days at Elkins High School, and was the first basketball player in school history to reach 1,000 career points. He went on to play college basketball at the University of Detroit, and was recruited by current ESPN commentator Dick Vitale. During his playing days at Detroit, he was co-captain of both the basketball and baseball teams.
When he returned to the Elkins area, he formed the Give Back Foundation, which helped youngsters attend camps and earn scholarships. The foundation held several basketball clinics that featured WVU players.
In 2010, Simms was named the head basketball coach at Elkins High School.
"I'm so blessed to be a part of my alma mater again," Simms said after being hired as the EHS coach.
"I have the fondest memories of my teachers, coaches and classmates while at EHS.
"To be able to come back and coach their kids and others in the community is a dream come true."
Simms stepped down in the spring of this year to take on a new challenge in the college ranks. Unfortunately, his untimely passing never allowed him the opportunity to prosper at the position.
Simms learned over the summer he was in need of a heart and kidney transplant. Despite his health concerns, he continued to be a dedicated mentor to area youngsters.
"He was very proud that he could come home and coach," Steve Wamsley, principal of Tygarts Valley High School and a close friend, said after Simms' passing.
"Roy has always had a big heart and enjoyed helping people less fortunate than him."