A 26-year-old Citadel graduate died Tuesday when his kayak capsized in Berkeley County.
Ra’Shaud Graham, team chaplain for Bulldogs football, was boating near several other people in a canal near the Amos Gourdine Boat Landing in Russellville when his kayak rolled over around 11 a.m., Coroner George Oliver said.
The North Charleston man tried to swim to shore but went under, Oliver said.
By the time divers with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office pulled him from the water, Graham was dead, S.C. Department of Natural Resources Capt. Robert McCullough said.
Graham was a 2016 graduate of The Citadel, where he ran track and later became the military school’s campus director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and team chaplain to Bulldogs football.
The native of Lake City ran track, played football and wrestled for Lake City High School. At The Citadel, he was named a company commander and made the Summerall Guards, a precision drill unit.
Graham worked as a coach and teacher in Lake City for two years. In 2016, Lake City’s mayor and City Council honored him with a proclamation hailing his “love and devotion to our children and and community.”
But when the job with The Citadel’s FCA opened up, Graham returned to Charleston.
“I could feel the tug on my heart,” Graham said in a Post and Courier article last November. “I love being around Citadel land, as I call it.”
Citadel football coach Brent Thompson said Graham played a lot of different roles for Bulldog athletes.
“We are going to hurt from this huge loss of one of our own,” Thompson said on Tuesday. “We will be forever grateful for the inspiration and guidance that he gave our football program. Ra’Shaud was one of the most genuine people and had a tremendous impact on our athletes this past year. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this very difficult time.”
Justin Neally, metro area director for the Lowcountry FCA, said Graham was an “outstanding leader.”
“He sacrificed so much to answer his call to ministry,” Neally said. “The legacy he leaves on campus and the impact made on all whom he met, will live on for eternity.”
DNR investigators are reviewing the incident, McCullough said.
Posted in: Post and Courier
Posted on: 2020-04-29
Link to original obituary: https://www.postandcourier.com/news/team-chaplain-for-citadel-football-dies-in-berkeley-county-kayak-accident/article_34c1afe8-897e-11ea-ac5a-af145b8c5b6b.html