An emotional Monday afternoon at U.S. Century Bank Arena as FIU celebrated the life of Kendall Berry in a standing-room only ceremony that brought together his family, teammates, FIU students and nearly 2,000 people.
Some of the ceremony's more poignant moments included FIU Board of Trustees Chairman Albert Dotson, who channeled Dr. Martin Luther King during his speech when he said: "We have to learn to live together as brothers and sisters or die together as fools. God looked down the other day on his great field of flowers and he said, I want to pick a flower today. And he picked a beautiful flower in Kendall."
Marcus Bright, KB's former academic advisor, spoke of how KB influenced Bright and receiver Junior Mertile with their schoolwork. Marcus (Marlon Bright's brother) remembered when himself, KB and Jr. all went to work on their respective class assignments in the library. They arrived one night around 8 p.m. and at about 10 p.m. Marcus and Jr. were ready to pack it in and call it a night, but KB kept at it and encouraged them both to keep working. So the 3 friends continued their schoolwork. Marcus and Jr. eventually left at midnight, but KB stayed until 1 a.m. -- which is when the school library closes. Marcus called what KB did "positive peer pressure".
With his voice rising during his speech, Marcus implored other players on the FIU team to walk away from a fight saying: "[Kendall] has to be saying with the same sense of urgency today to all of us to not to let his death be in vain. He'd tell [his teammates] it's OK to walk away [from a fight]! It's not worth it!''
Receiver-turned-defensive back Marquis Rolle, who said KB was his best friend, was the only Panther to speak at the podium. Surrounded by his teammates, MR brought a little laughter to the ceremony when he talked about how Kendall used to always tell him to clean his dorm. No surprise to see MR act like KB and make an unselfish position switch to help the team this coming season.
MC talked about what a leader and how unselfish KB was when KB asked before last summer what he could do to help the team the most. With a bevy of receivers, FIU needed some help at running back and that's the position to where KB switched. Eventually, climbing the depth chart to lead the team with 7 TDs.
From a team's first spring practice, the NCAA allows 30 days to complete spring ball. FIU started spring ball on March 3. But with Easter this weekend and the Panthers still having 5 practices, FIU might ask the NCAA to get an extension considering what has occurred the last few days.
It's very unlikely the spring game will be Wednesday. Should the NCAA grant FIU extra time for spring practice, then you might see the spring game happen Friday, April 9 or Saturday, April 10. NOTHING HAS BEEN SET ON THOSE DATES. That's just a guesstimate here.
When I have more info on spring practice resuming. I will post it on here.
In case you missed it on an earlier post last week, the Golden Dazzlers make their 2010 baseball debut on Friday as they perform during the FIU/UL game. The ladies will be back on Saturday and again on April 16 when New Orleans comes to town.
Will have all 3 games of the series for you on here. Saturday's LIVE BLOG begins at 5:55 p.m. and Sunday's LIVE BLOG starts at 12:56 p.m.