Family, friends remember Winston-Salem basketball star killed in wreck

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. - Members of the New Hope Christian Academy Girl's basketball team released pink balloons Tuesday evening in memory of teammate Celeste Burgess.

The 14-year-old rising basketball star, who had been courted by several colleges, was killed Friday during a car accident in Alabama. Family, friends and teammates remembered Burgess as a person who lived a life full of humor, love and determination on the court.

Authorities say Burgess, who lived in Winston-Salem, was among two killed in the two-vehicle crash on Alabama 93 Friday morning.

Officials said four others were injured. Tammy Johnson, 44, of Banks, Ala. also died at the scene.

Alabama State Troopers said Burgess was a passenger in a Nissan Altima driven by Marcus Peoples, 27, of Warner Robins, Ga.

The wreck happened when a Chrysler Town and Country van driven by Johnson collided with the Altima.

Burgess was taken to Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan and died about five hours later, Sgt. Steve Jarrett of the Alabama Department of Public Safety told the Winston-Salem Journal.

Passengers Joshua Townsend, 19, and Tyri Bradham, 23, of Banks were injured, as were Marcus Peoples and Leslie Peoples, 23, of Daleville, Ala. All were taken to hospitals for treatment, police and the Messenger said.

Burgess played a season and a half at Mount Tabor before transferring last December to New Hope Christian Academy in Thomasville, a program coached by Delaney Rudd, a former Wake Forest and NBA guard.


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