Cyril Baptiste

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It was a life that started with fame and unending possibilities but ebbed into a difficult and troubled existence. One week ago, the life of Cyril Baptiste -- one of the most promising high school athletes in South Florida history -- came to a conclusion with his funeral.

Cyril Baptiste, at age 56, had succumbed to prostate cancer and a life that was all too tough.

The funeral was for an innocent child, a high school basketball star, a college standout, a U.S. Olympic team member, a sometime drug addict, a sometime street person. It was a remarkable life, if not the one Cyril Baptiste willingly chose.

"He could never conquer the demons,"says Leroy Floyd, a coach, mentor and friend to Baptiste. "He always gave people good advice, but he didn't always take it himself."
Published in the Miami Herald from Aug. 25 to Aug. 28, 2006
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