Photo by Abel Carrillo
Athletes are defined as someone who is proficient in a sport. Cliff Tucker excelled in two.
Tucker played basketball and football at Chapin and eventually went on to play college basketball at Maryland from 2007-2011 (including a game winner his senior year on ESPN). He actually decided to play football for UTEP for one year in fall 2011.
Unfortunately, the 6’6″ shoot guard / wide receiver’s life abruptly came to an end in a tragic vehicle accident on May 28, 2018. He was 29. His girlfriend, Genesis Soto passed away a month later from her injuries from that same accident. Their daughter Andrea Soto remained in critical condition from her injuries. They also lost friends in that same accident on the way back from a tournament in San Antonio.
Now, the Chapin basketball program honored Tucker, as #21, the number he wore at Chapin was retired. He was honored by Maryland posthumously and his #24 hangs there in Maryland.
“I’ve known him since he was 10. When the Chapin job opened up, he contacted me right away. He passed away at about the same time I was going to be announced as the new coach. It was an emotional time for me. Right then, I knew that I was going to retire his #21 jersey. He changed me as a coach and a man”, said Chapin Head Coach Rodney Lewis.
And what better day to retire Tucker’s #21, than on the day Andress visits. The place Coach Lewis was an assistant was for several years.