Celebration of life ceremony in honor of football player killed in nautical incident

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, North Carolina (WWAY) – Hundreds of people gathered Thursday night to remember a high school athlete and his brother who died in a boating accident on the Intracoastal Waterway last weekend.

Johnnie Magbie and his brother Ahykeem Jones were boating when Jones fell into the water last Sunday. Magbie immediately dove into the water to save her brother. Both men died in the water.

In a celebration of life ceremony on Thursday night, Magbie’s mother stood behind the podium to speak to the large crowd that gathered at the West Brunswick High School football stadium to remember his son.

“Thank you really, it shows a lot how much my son really was loved,” Johnnie Magbie’s mom said.

Magbie was a varsity player for the high school football team.

“It’s almost like having a home football game to go out and celebrate one of our heroes and our warriors,” said Brett Hickman, the school’s head coach.

During the service, there was a large photo displayed which showed Magbie and her brother kissing their mother’s cheek taken last Sunday.

“If you ever want to know the last expression these boys had on their faces, that’s that picture right there,” she said. “It was a few moments before they left together.”

One by one, family members, coaches, teammates and friends shared their memories of Magbie.

“We used to make jokes late at night and whoever fell asleep first would drown in the water,” a teammate said. “Johnnie is like ‘Stop, I’m trying to sleep, I’m trying to sleep,’ and neither of us cared, and then someone jumped on him and almost took the wind out of him.

Others shared their thoughts on Magbie’s personal impact on them.

“He was the most competitive person I have ever met, he never gave up no matter what the score, no matter what,” recalls another teammate. “He has kept me straight in many aspects of life.”

Many of those who spoke used the word “hero” to describe Magbie.

“My boys took me to the best Mother’s Day I’ve had in 28 years as a mom,” Magbie’s mom said. “I’m so proud of them, so proud of them.

A gofundme page has been created to help with funeral costs.

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Tommy Dodd

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