LSU guard Skylar Mays honors former teammate Wayde Sims during game against Vanderbilt
BATON ROUGE- While most people are looking forward to the Tigers heading to the SEC tournament, one player in particular is looking back and remembering his longtime friend.
LSU guard Skylar Mays was spotted during Saturday night's game against Vanderbilt wearing some customized Nike tennis shoes in honor of his brother and former teammate Wayde Sims. The shoes were customized by an LSU alum and friend of Mays Michael Anderson
If you didn’t already have enough reasons to like @LSUBasketball’s Skylar Mays - he continues to honor his good friend & former teammate, Wayde Sims. Before LSU aims for an outright @SEC title tonight, Skylar visited Wayde’s grave & showed us what he hopes to debut this evening. pic.twitter.com/aBSEndVu3A— Kevin Fitzgerald (@KevinTFitz) March 9, 2019
When Mays was asked about shoes in the post game press conference he said it was his way of honoring his fallen brother.
"You all know I have known Wayde for a long time he has always been a huge part of my life. We've always been at the hip and I just try to honor him anyway I can." He continued, "Shoes are a way that I express myself and it's a way I can express how I care about him and how big of a part he was of my life," said Mays.
The entire basketball team also remembered Sims during Saturday night's game holding up the number 44 in his memory. 44 was Sims jersey number while he played at LSU and throughout high school at his alumni U-high.
And to top it all off another emotional moment Wayne and Faye Sims, parents of Wayde each cut down a piece of the basketball net during the Tigers' post-game championship celebration for their son.
Sims was shot near Southern University last year after the basketball player intervened in a fight between his accused killer and one of Sims' friends.
LSU hosted a vigil in September to honor late basketball star Wayde Sims after his murder. At the vigil Mays talked about how close he and Sims were almost like brothers.
"Wayde had a great impact on my life personally, and he'll continue to have probably even more of an impact on the way I try to lead my life from now on. It was an honor to lace up with him every day and call him a teammate. Still, an honor to be able to call him my brother." Mays said during the vigil.
Head Coach Will Wade spoke at Sims funeral, stating the team now does honorary, "Sims sets."
"To honor him everyday in the weight room we do a "Sims set" at the end... We do 44 of whatever our last activity is," said Wil Wade.
Saturday nights win was a huge milestone for the team after a roller coaster ride of a season. Following the Championship game, LSU begins SEC tournament play Friday, March 15th in the third round after earning a double-bye.