Poetic was one word his friends, family and admirers used to describe him. Inspirational, devoted and unique were just a few others.
Some remembered Creighton Lane as a firm, hot-headed basketball coach; others as a cool and collected mentor. But, although the memories of him vary from person-to-person, student-to-student and friend-to-friend, there will now be one, constant reminder of all he represented.
And it will forever remain on the basketball court of the Wilcox High School gymnasium.
Lane passed away in May of 2014 after battling stomach cancer. But, in his 14 years at Wilcox High School as the head coach of the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams, he forever imprinted his exceptional character on not only his players, but the other students and faculty as well.
About a year has passed since the building was named the Creighton A. Lane Memorial Gymnasium, and on Saturday afternoon a celebration was held that officially dedicated the gym to Lane.
Wilcox students, alumni, faculty and, more significantly, Lane’s family were all in attendance to pay tribute to the man that changed so many of their lives.
Shortly after the Wilcox faculty unveiled the freshly painted lettering on the hardwood floor, the first game was played on the re-galvanized court: a scrimmage between Wilcox basketball alumni, many of whom played under Lane.
“Why are you thankful for Creighton Lane?” Kristin Gonzalez, principal of Wilcox High School and host of the ceremony, asked the crowd while speaking at the podium. She believed it was a suitable question since many in attendance had celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday just two days prior.
Eric Anthony, a man who described Lane as his surrogate father, said he was beyond thankful for his mentorship and humble character.
“He was like an angel,” said Anthony. “He saw in people what they couldn’t see in themselves.”
He said the dedication of the gym was an affirmation of everything Lane stood for.
Lane gave advice on everyday life to all who cared to hear. Advice such as overcoming hardships and obtaining personal goals. And he expressed many of his messages through poetry.
A compilation of poems Lane wrote throughout his life are published in his book, “Maybe or Maybe Not.” Many of them talk about friendship, love and moral duty; all reflective of how Lane lived his life.
Gonzalez said there was not a second thought in the decision to name the gym after Lane.
“It was just a natural thing,” said Gonzalez. “This is what we were going to do to honor somebody that gave so much to us.”