Navarro College Mourns Loss Of Two Basketball Players - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/10/04 - Corsicana

Navarro College Mourns Loss Of Two Basketball Players

Jason Trier and Pa Sarr were both freshmen walk-on's to the men's basketball team at Navarro College, home of the Runnin' Bulldogs. Students, faculty, and staff say Navarro College is a tight-knit community. It wasn't hard to find people who knew Jason and Pa.

Eighteen-year-old Jason was number 12, a point guard from Killeen.

"I was shocked," one student said. "Like we were just talking about, I was just playing basketball with him two days before it happened."

His friend says Jason spent more time studying and practicing on the court than going out and chasing girls. He "worked hard, always in the gym working hard. He talked about church a lot. We always talked about what church we were going to go to."

Number 40, 21-year-old Pa Sarr, played post. He came to Navarro from Gambia in Africa.

"Pa is a very serious student, a very focused student," Rita O'Brien, his former math instructor, said. "He's focused on the court. He's focused in the classroom."

O'Brien taught Pa calculus for the last two semesters. She says he set his own priorities.

"He's not a typical basketball player," O'Brien said. "Basketball wasn't his number one goal. His goal was education, and basketball was also something else he was focused on."

One friend says Pa was an intelligent young man and made friends easily.

"A lot of students look up to him because, like I said, he was here from another country by himself," Deshonda Alford, a student and friend, said.

Two young men with bright futures ahead of them: a painful loss to families, friends, and their community.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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