Published on June 25, 2021
TUESDAY, June 22, 2021 (STAT News)—Three months before “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman died from stage 4 colon cancer at age 43, another young Black idol succumbed to the same scourge. Omhar Carter was a beloved youth basketball coach who trained and mentored promising players for more than 20 years in his hometown of Jackson, Miss. He was to the basketball scene in Jackson what T’Challa was to Wakanda.
“He was the guy that everybody came to to get better — there were so many lives that he touched,” said Shay Hodge, who was coached by Carter when he was 16. Hodge, now 33, credits Carter with steering him and many other troubled teenagers in the right direction, including some onto the rosters of college and pro teams. “We all looked at him like he was a superhero.”
Carter was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in the fall of 2019 and passed away in the spring of 2020 at age 46. Like Boseman, he led a physically active lifestyle at the time of his diagnosis, often lifting weights and running drills on the hardwood with his players. He did not smoke and was not a heavy drinker.
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