ST. LOUIS — The Billikens have made plans to honor their late assistant coach, Ford Stuen.
The Saint Louis University Men's Basketball team announced on Wednesday they would hold a memorial service celebrating the life of Ford Stuen on Saturday, May 15. The memorial will be held at 1 p.m. at Chaifetz Arena. The team said more information will follow.
Stuen died on Tuesday at the age of 29 after battling an infection that had put him in the hospital since Easter. He leaves behind a wife, stepdaughter and has a baby boy due in August.
SLU head coach Travis Ford, who was also Stuen's uncle, remembered his assistant coach and nephew on Wednesday.
"We've always been close. But for the last nine years, we've been side by side every day. Every day. At Oklahoma State and then he was with me when I made the transition. He was here at the press conference when I got the job here at Saint Louis. Yes, loved him like a son," Ford said. "He was so close to my kids. So close. He was a mentor to my children. He was always there for them. That's just Ford. He epitomized what it means to be a family person. He loved his family dearly."
Stuen was regarded as a rising star in the college coaching profession and was recently named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches 30 under 30 list.
Ford said Stuen had the "It" quality and was one of the few people who would beat him into the office on a daily basis.
"He was on his way to being a great college head coach someday. He lived it, he loved it. He was what was good about our game," Ford said. "Great teacher of the game. Had a great personality for what it takes. And there's a lot of things I need to take from him going forward that I need to be better at."