Kingstree basketball coach killed in crash laid to rest

Funeral for Sonya Burgess at Kingstree High School.

KINGSTREE, S.C. (WPDE) - Sunday afternoon more than a thousand people packed into the gym at Kingstree High School for the funeral of Sonya Burgess. Because so many people were in attendance school officials opened an overflow room.

Point guard LaToya Jones said her last memory of Coach Sonya Burgess was being at practice and seeing her smile. Jones added Burgess was like a second mother. For others, their last memory of their coach was basketball advice.

"You gotta crossover, dribble with your left hand and I said 'okay, I got you coach' so I mean I did what she asked me to do," said Ayanna Fulmore, a point guard.

The former head coach for the Kingstree High School girls basketball team was killed in a car crash on highway 52 in the Cades community last Monday night.

During the funeral, a high school classmate said her life was was "39 years full of love."

Sonya's friend described her as having "the kind of smile that was contagious."

At Saturday night's Class 2A Lower State semi-final basketball game in Florence, the team Burgess coached placed a sign on a chair on the sidelines that said "coaching from above." The team lost to Bishop England.

After the game head coach Theodis Faison said "they gave their best."

He added Burgess is proud of the team and after the last practice told him, "if we don't win, lose, or draw. We had a good run."