One year ago, Section V basketball rallied around Churchville-Chili after a fatal car accident. While the Blythers brothers had to say goodbye to a friend, he's not forgotten.
Last February, 18-year-old Dijon Pratt was a passenger killed in a car crash. His friend, Marcus Blythers, was the driver. Both were members of the Churchville-Chili basketball team.
“I was laying down in my bed and my dad, he came and woke me up and was like, your brother got in a car accident,” said Jonathan Blythers. “I didn't really think anything of it. I was like, oh, he'll be alright, he'll probably get some stitches or something and then we'll be on our way, go out to eat or something."
One year after Jonathan and Marcus moved to start attending different schools, their closest friend was gone, and Marcus was in a coma.
“I was holding his hand and he woke up and he started talking. He said he ran into a tree but then he really remembered what happened and he was kind of devastated,” said Jonathan.
Section V Basketball came together in support of the Saints, while Jonathan found solace in his Edison Tech teammates.
“I let him pretty much decide - him and his family. We were here for him, day in and day out. Basketball wasn't even a thought for myself at the time. If anything, I tried to allow the guys, especially Johnny, to just use it as maybe motivation, as an outlet,” said Jacob Scott, the coach at Edison Tech.
Marcus is recovering from further surgery as a result of the accident, but attends most of his brother's games.
“That's motivation right there, because I know that he couldn't finish his season and he never hit a thousand points and I'm real close. I think I've got like 60 more. We got a guarantee next game and then hopefully we beat Wilson and then we move on so I can hit that thousand points,” said Jonathan.
The 7th seeded Inventors open the Class AA1 Sectionals at home against Wilson on Tuesday.