Mercer basketball player Jibri Bryan laid to rest
SAVANNAH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Mercer basketball player Jibri Bryan was laid to rest Tuesday.
It was a heartbreaking day not only for Jibri’s family in Savannah, but also for his Mercer family in Macon. The team traveled to Savannah to remember its teammate.
“I knew there was something special about Jibri and it was the way he interacted with others,” said Mercer Men’s Head Basketball Coach Bob Hoffman. He was one of many who spoke at the service.
Friends and family of Jibri found comfort in Hoffman’s words.
“All the things that flooded into my heart and soul [were] just looking at his face and his smile. He mad a difference everywhere he went. There wasn’t a room he couldn’t light up,” said Hoffman.
The 23-year-old grad school student was shot and killed a week ago at the Flash Food gas station in Downtown Macon. Two suspects have been arrested and charged with murder.
“I cried for a couple of hours and then I just got really angry and I stayed angry for a few days,” recalled Monty Brown, a former teammate of Jibri’s.
While anger and pain was felt throughout the church, those are far from the emotions people used to describe Jibri.
“Infectiously happy. He was always, always positive,” said Brown.
Twenty three years may not seem like much time, but to those who knew Jibri, it was enough to make memories that will last a lifetime.
“He was a groomsman at my wedding. Drove all the way to Oklahoma to be with me on my special day and it was an honor to have him there. I’ll remember that for the rest of my life,” explained Brown.
As the healing process begins, the ones Jibri left behind are using their faith to get them through.
“I love Jibri. I love the Bryan family. I pray I get to tell Jibri again, one day, how much I love him. I know I will,” said Hoffman.
Former teammates and coaches has many memories to share, but they said the one thing they will never forget about him is his smile.
Jibri had just entered his last year of graduate school at Mercer University and was recently nominated to the AllState Good Works Team.
The service was held at the St. James Catholic Church in Savannah, Georgia. He was buried at Catholic Cemetery on Wheaton Street.