I've been thinking a lot about Ceph the past couple days, so I wanted to put up something more about him.
Heather Dinich's Baltimore Sun article has a great quote from Gary on Ceph:
LaRon Cephas was an integral part of our 2001 Final Four team. His attitude and dedication was something coaches wish every player had. You don't have good teams without people such us LaRon Cephas in your program. After graduating from the University of Maryland, he did a tremendous job making a difference with young kids. He was one of my favorite players in 18 years as head coach at the University of Maryland.
Gary isn't the sort of guy to just say that about anyone. Most of LaRon's contributions to those great Terps teams of the late 90s and early 00s clearly happened in practice and in the locker room. As fans, we didn't see a lot of the direct contributions, but we certainly saw the results on the court and in his teammates' love and admiration for him.
The Sun story also notes that Cephas graduated with a communications degree, played basketball overseas for 3 years, and then worked at the Annapolis Boys and Girls Club.
You can see LaRon's career statistics on Terrapinstats.com
One of LaRon's High School Basketball teammates talks about LaRon's smile on his Myspace blog. From someone who didn't know Ceph at all, he always seemed to be smiling, whether he was on the court or on the bench.
The Washington Post obituary has some quotes from Terrell Stokes on his reaction to learning of Cephas' death.
Finally, MetaDC very eloquently sums up what many of us who closely followed Maryland Basketball during those years are feeling:
LaRon was not exactly famous if you didn't follow those late-90's/early-00's Maryland teams closely. That didn't make him any less of a campus celebrity, and it didn't make us appreciate him any less as "one of our guys" while we got to watch him play. Those teams meant a hell of a lot to me as a fan and even more to me as a student, and I know a lot of my fellow alumni are just as saddened by the death of Cephas as am I.
Condolences to Cephas's family, and thanks to LaRon himself for being a part of something I will always remember as all but magical.
Rest in peace, LaRon. We'll always remember you fondly.
Update 4/19: The Capital (Annapolis) has an article on Ceph's work at the Boys and Girls Club.
"The teenage girls had crushes on him. The older boys looked up to him and the little kids just wanted to hug him," said Carole Alexander, director of development for the club. "He was so big in stature, but his heart was that big, too."