By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — Friends and family gathered alongside Star International Academy staff to honor the late Mohammed Wutwut by retiring his No. 79 football jersey during a special ceremony.
Wutwut died unexpectedly when he drown in Cass Lake in Waterford on July 8. His life was remembered during the annual Family Engagement Parade on Sept. 21.
“He did not know he was dying tomorrow, but he lived and learned as if he was living forever,” Star International Academy Supt. Nawal Hamadeh said. “He set his goals and tried to seek them. We shall all do the same.”
Hamadeh said Wutwut lived the school’s four pillars which are scholarships, character, culture and community.
“The late Mohammed Wutwut had his dream to lead his team to success and to obtain an athletic scholarship to play college football and to make his school and parents proud,” Hamadeh said. “We will remember Mohammed as having been a good example for others. Let’s keep him and remember him in our prayers, thoughts and actions.”
A candlelight vigil was held by his friends and family on July 10 along with 300 people where flowers and cards surrounded his photo and jersey.
During the vigil, Hamadeh announced that all football games in the 2017 season will be dedicated to Wutwut and a scholarship will be dedicated in his name.
The 911 call was made about 6:15 p.m. on July 8 and once on the scene police learned from friends that Wutwut was seen having trouble swimming before disappearing under the surface.
The sheriff office’s dive team was sent into the lake for a search assisted by the Waterford Police and Fire department, Keego Harbor police and Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Just before 1 a.m. on July 9, Wutwut’s body was found 300 feet from shore in 9 feet of water through the help of sonar devices.
According to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office he was “having difficulty while swimming 1,000 yards from the shore.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)