A community came together Saturday to celebrate the life of a Central Florida basketball icon who coached nearly 50 years.

What You Need To Know

  • Earl Graham was well known as Apopka High basketball coach

  • Graham was also a 25-year veteran of the Orlando Fire Department

  • He contracted COVID in December, died at 72 years old

At the First Baptist Church in Orlando, family and friends remembered Earl Graham.

“He taught me about being humble. I have learned so much from him, watching him interact with other people, and it taught me humility and I will never forget that,” said Earl Graham's son, JayRaj.

Graham was well known for being a basketball coach at Apopka High.

Saturday, many of his players were wearing masks that said “Coach Graham” and blue ribbons with his name on it. Apopka High junior Greg McClain was one of the many athletes to play for him.

“He wanted to see you succeed. He also pushed you hard in practice, and was always there anytime you needed him,” said McClain.

In December, the man who loved to coach contracted COVID-19.

The virus didn't just sideline his basketball season at Apopka High, but according to his family, it ultimately took his life.

Saturday’s funeral services were a way for people to remember all the good he did for the community.

In addition to coaching, he was a 25-year veteran of the Orlando Fire Department.

Earl Graham was 72.