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December 15, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Cascade Christian boys honor late assistant coach Mike Kilcup

The Cascade Christian boys basketball team paid tribute to late assistant coach Mike Kilcup in a variety of ways Tuesday night.

Kilcup died of cardiac arrest early Sunday morning. He was just 53 and had been an assistant in the program since Jerry Williams took over as head coach 10 years ago.

“It was a complete shock to everyone,” said Williams, noting Kilcup was at practice Saturday and showed no signs of illness.

The Cougars won the 1A state championship last season.

“That was a dream of Mike’s, to be able to cut down the nets one day,” said Williams, who has known Kilcup for 17 years. “So he got to do that before he died.”

Players quickly came up with one way to honor Kilcup’s memory.

“Our boys did something pretty amazing,” Williams said. “They said they wanted to do shooting shirts for him. They went out and bought their own shirts and had Coach Kilcup printed on the back.”

All Color Screenprinting & Embroidery did the printing for free and players wore the shirts during warm-ups before Tuesday’s game with Chimacum.

Williams said he briefly had considered postponing the game, but decided against it.

“Everyone I talked to, including his family, said Mike wouldn’t want it any other way,” he said.

Kilcup’s wife, Pam, and two of their three children attended the game along with his daughter from a previous marriage, who flew in from Hawaii. Shelly Kilcup was a star player at Fife High School and now plays at PLU. Family members were recognized before the game, followed by a moment of silence for Kilkup.

Cascade Christian then went out an won the game, 85-27, with three seniors scoring in double figures, led by Cody Schackett with 24.

Williams said players will wear “MK” patches on their jerseys and that the chair Kilcup always occupied next to him will remain vacant other than holding a basketball with a “MK” logo and the words, “We all miss you.”

“We’ve dedicated our season to Mike,” Williams said.

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