The Carl Russell Sr. Community Recreation Center and the Hanes Hosiery Recreation Center families are mourning the loss of one of their own.
Celeste Burgess, 14, a longtime standout on the basketball court, died over the weekend from injuries she suffered in a horrific automobile accident along an Alabama highway.
Celeste developed her stellar hoop skills in local rec center youth leagues. By the time she entered high school, she was a highly sought after talent. She initially played at Mount Tabor; Celeste was a student at Thomasville’s New Hope Christian Academy at the time of her death.
“Celeste was a great role model for girls last summer at the Carl H. Russell Sr. Community Center Basketball Camp,” said Center Supervisor Ben Piggott. “She was a hard worker on the basketball court and a very kind-hearted spirit when you talked with her.”
Hanes Hosiery Director Art Blevins erected a tribute to Celeste at the rec center this week. She was one of the many youngsters who came through Blevins’ youth basketball league. In league play, Celeste played alongside boys, often outscoring them.
Piggott said many hearts are going out to Celeste’s family this week.
“Her parents raised Celeste and the rest of the family in a Christian home,” he said. “Even though her life was taken by an accident, I feel that she is in Heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”