CRAVEN COUNTY - A former West Craven High School star athlete, who was also a Harlem Globetrotter, died unexpectedly on Friday.
Andre Bryant was living in Baltimore with his fiance when he fell off a tree during a trimming accident, according to the funeral home helping with his arrangements.
Bryant was involved in basketball, football, track and Junior Olympics .
His love for basketball led him to his ten year run as a Harlem Globetrotter.
He has many family members who live in the Eastern Carolina area, including his brother of New Bern, Ronnie Bryant. Ronnie say this came as a complete surprise.
"I expected my mom to die, and I knew my daddy was going to," Ronnie said. "But not Andre to go, not right now, you know?"
Ronnie said he talked with his brother every other night, and the pair would always talk about sports. Andre loved two teams: The Miami Heat and the Dallas Cowboys.
His fiance, Valle Macuch, said they were planning to get married in North Carolina in a month. They had been dating for 12 years and 11 months.
"I miss him dearly," Macuch said. "It's hard. It's just hard. I can understand if he was sick and slowly passing away, but this is a brick wall. It just hits that hard."
His aunt, Gertrude Dyson, said she remembers that he always had a good spirit and was a man of God.
"He just had a big heart for everybody," Dyson said. "He loved everybody and he was happy. He had a lot of joy and a lot of joy in his heart."
Andre's funeral will be at noon Friday at St. Peter's AME Zion Church on Queen Street. His family members say they are expecting a large turnout, including extended family members, friends and former Harlem Globetrotter teammates.
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