A CSU legacy remembered - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

A CSU legacy remembered

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Antwan Ivey was a star running back for Charleston Southern University in 2008 and 2009 before transferring.

He was slated to return to CSU for Pro Day in the hopes of catching the eye of an NFL scout, but that won't happen. Ivey passed away Monday of an apparent heart attack while playing basketball in Tallahassee, Fla.

Those closest to him at Charleston Southern reacted to the news.

"To have a young man you bring into the program, get to know like one of your own – it's tough,  especially now. I have my own children, I can sympathize with his family and what they're going through. It's sad for them but I pray this will never happen again," said head coach Jamey Chadwell.

Chadwell remembers recruiting Ivey out of Gainesville, Fla. In 2007. Even clearer, he recalls their recent talks.

"He was still living out and trying to pursue the dream of playing at the next level, working hard to do that. He always had a smile. His nickname was ‘Kilo' because he was so small," Chadwell said.

Stature was one thing, but his position coach Gabe Giardinia was quick to point out the big things he did at the little North Charleston school.

"He had phenomenal talent and an even smarter football brain -- borderline football savant. He could see things before they happened. We would talk about things in the meeting room and he translated them to the field. Kids fed off his energy," Giardinia said.

Several performances stand out: 151 yards against Coastal Carolina in 2009, the 50-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against VMI. The records are remembered and the legacy lives on.

"I'm still in shock. You get numb all over and instantly think of his parents, recall the time we had here as players and coaches and seeing him grow," Giardinia said.

"There was disbelief. I called and tried to find out if it's really true, if it really happened. Disbelief when you find out the truth. I called Coach Chadwell, Coach Giardinia. It was hurt, shock, disbelief," said running backs coach Newland Isaac.

For young coaches in a young program, death is not something they're accustomed to dealing with and their own emotions are now overwhelming for a young man gone far too soon.

"His was a life that affected a lot of people in a positive way. I'm just crushed it's over. A lot of positive memories in general, but you're sad. You miss your friend," Giardinia said.

Ivey finished his career at North Alabama under Terry Bowden. Chadwell says he was recently at CSU taking in a spring practice. 

  • Scott Eisberg

    Email: seisberg@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile

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