Saturday was a day the GSU basketball teams played their last home games. However, they would be doing it without a major physical supporting force: Ricky B. McCall, longtime head trainer for Grambling athletes.
"Ricky was a true Gramblinite," Santoria Black said before the men’s game Saturday. "It was an honor to have a true friend like Ricky."
McCall died at 4 a.m. Saturday after a long bout with cancer. McCall, who had been in the profession since the late 1970s, has been the GSU head athletic trainer since 1990. During that time, he made some lifelong friends.
"I loved Ricky like a brother," Coach David "Rusty" Ponton said. "He was one of the most giving and unselfish people in life. I miss him so much."
While McCall will be missed, his spirit will live on. GSU has established a Ricky B. McCall Scholarship Fund. For more information, call (318) 274-6253.
McCall’s funeral will be Saturday at Macedonia Baptist Church in Monroe, and GSU will hold a memorial service at 1 p.m. Tuesday in T.H. Harris Auditorium.
McCall, a Delhi native, was certified by the Louisiana and the National Athletic Trainers Association in sports medicine, a certification that allowed him to work with every program on campus. Even as McCall worked with the Dallas Cowboys during an internship, he continued to bring modern methods and techniques to GSU.
McCall received his degree in sports medicine at the U.S. Sports Academy in 1990.
McCall is survived by former wife Amanda and their two children.