VESTAL, N.Y. – Back on July 14, the Binghamton University community was sent into a state of shock and mourning after the death of one of their own.
Calistus Anyichie passed away due to an accidental drowning at Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca.
Anyichie was set to be a sophomore at B.U. and was preparing for his second season as a member of the Bearcats men’s basketball team.
On Thursday, head coach Tommy Dempsey and sophomore guard Sam Sessoms addressed the passing of Anychie for the first time to the media.
Both Dempsey and Sessoms, along with the rest of the team, remember Calistus for different things.
However, his personality and character left a lasting impression on all of them.
“There’s so many daily reminders. But, I think of like, when I have the players at my house from time to time, I can always just picture him. He would never leave his plate. He would pick up after his teammates. He would take his dishes to my wife at the sink. Just different things like that that were just who he was. Those are the things I think about,” said Dempsey.
“There’s so many things I do during my day when I just think of Calistus. He was just always like energetic. Just hype. Like, honestly, so today we had lift. I remember, the whole team was in there and we’re just saying to ourselves get big. We hype ourselves up, hype our teammates up. And Calistus would be the main one starting it off. Like, he would get the day started if energy was down, he’d pick it up. And I remember, I was just feeling myself in the lift and I just like screamed. The way I did my laugh, it was just like I laughed, and then I stopped, and then I just laughed again. But, in the moment I stopped, I was just thinking about Calistus and his laugh. Like, you know Calistus’ laugh. That’s probably one of the things I miss the most. I find myself thinking like damn, I wish I could just hear Calistus laugh again,” Sessoms says.
Sessoms made his visit to B.U. along with Calistus.
Even in that one night, Anyichie made an immediate impact on Sam.
“I just remember him like. It’s weird because most people on campus wouldn’t even think, he was like trying to hype me up to like go talk to girls. Most people didn’t want to believe that, but he was just always like that. He was just trying to hype me up to talk to girls, talk to everybody. He would go up to random sports dudes, introduce us. That’s really just my first memory. I remember telling my dad after the visit, like yo that kid Calistus, he can talk. Just talk a lot. It just like, it’s just sad now because that’s the only thing you really want to hear from Calistus is just him talking again.”
The team is preparing a tribute for Calistus before their home opener on Saturday, November 16.
They are also working on patches to wear in Anyichie’s honor throughout the 2019-20 season.