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Funeral for Morgan Wootten held at DeMatha Catholic High School

Morgan Wootten died on Wednesday at the age of 88.

WASHINGTON — Former DeMatha Catholic High School basketball coach Morgan Wootten's funeral was held at the school on Monday morning.

Hundreds of people gathered, including more than 50 former players and coaches, to say their goodbyes to the legendary coach.

Wootten passed away on Wednesday at 88 after he was placed with home hospice care days before.

During the memorial service, Wootten's 15 grandchildren were involved throughout the service in some way, a wish that he wanted to be fulfilled. 

Wootten coached at DeMatha for nearly five decades before retiring in 2002. He helped the Hyattsville, Maryland, school win five national championships and 22 D.C. titles. He was the first coach at the high school, college or professional basketball levels to reach 1,200 wins. 

He was also inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Wootten also helped DeMatha win 33 conference championships and coached great players such as Adrian Dantley, Kenny Carr, Sid Catlett, Jonny Austin, Keith Bogas and many more that have helped grow the sport at all levels. 

Wootten was also a teacher to many coaches, using videos to spread his coaching philosophy. He's had multiple former players and coaches go on to coach in the college ranks, including Notre Dame's head basketball coach Mike Brey and former WUSA9 anchor James Brown.

Brown spoke to WUSA9 after hearing the news of Wootten's passing. Brown also delivered the eulogy at Wootten's funeral.

"All the lessons that he taught each of his players, prepared us for the game of life," Brown said. "He said he wanted to be remembered as a good teacher and a good father. His family can certainly attest to that."

At the end of the funeral, former players and coaches lined up as Wootten was being taken out of the gym to head to his final resting place.

Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Morgan Wootten, head basketball coach at DeMatha High School, right, speaks at a press conference to announce his stepping down as coach, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2002, in Hyattsville, Md. Wootten's career record is 1,274-192. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Wootten's legacy will always be remembered and will continue to live on.

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