USC Aiken students react to death of Pacer basketball player

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News 12 @ 11 o'clock -- March 18, 2009

AIKEN, S.C. -- As a baseball stadium stands in silence, they honor a basketball player. Javonte Clanton was killed in a car accident just hours after playing in the school's first Sweet 16 basketball game against ASU. One of the biggest games our area has ever seen.

"I'm just really completely shocked because this is the second death we've had this year from this school," said USCA freshman Zoi James.

Clanton was driving from Aiken to his home just outside of Columbus, Ohio when West Virgina police say it appears he fell asleep behind the wheel and hit a tree.
And the news of Javonte's death has the student body trying to understand it all.

"It really puts a burden on my heart because that's one of my peers, somebody my age. I'm thinking that could've been me,"said James.

It was on USC Aiken's home court just a week and a half ago where Javonte's peers say they watched the man play the game he loved so much. But what they didn't know was that would be the last time Javonte would play a game on that court.

"There's something so different, the demeanor of the campus is different,"said James.

"On the way to class, I seen a whole bunch of people crying around campus. Then I got a call from somebody in my class who told me what happened to him. Even though I didn't know him personally, he seemed like a good dude," said USCA senior Terrence Davis.

But not knowing Javonte hasn't stopped students on campus from making sure he's remembered.

"He was successful. It's just hard somebody that was doing so good here, they're just gone and it's really hard to think about that," said USCA freshman Tevin Reddick.

"Personally, I think they need to do something in his honor just to let everybody know how much he meant to the school," said Davis.

Students on the campus say they plan to have a vigil in Javonte's honor on Thursday, March 26th.

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