FSU player from Ashburn dies in her sleep - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

FSU player from Ashburn dies in her sleep

Ronalda Pierce (Source: Florida State Athletics Department website) Ronalda Pierce (Source: Florida State Athletics Department website)

June 8, 2004

 Tallahassee, Fl.- Florida State University and the city of Ashburn are in shock after the sudden death of 19-year old Ronalda Pierce Tuesday morning.

The Lady Seminole center died from a ruptured aorta caused by an aneurysm.

The medical examiner believes a genetic disorder that affects connective tissues in tall people may have the cause for that aneurysm. 

A Parade All-American at Turner County High School, Ronalda Pierce signed with Florida State in the fall of her senior year.

The 6' 5" Pierce played as a reserve in all 29 games in her freshman season with the Lady Seminoles and would have likely been a starter in her sophomore year at Florida State.

Her high school coach, Tony Hobbs, says Rolanda had really matured in one year of college

Going from a shy, quiet girl in high school to an outgoing young woman who suddenly had found a smile.

Hobbs says one of the toughest things about Rolanda's death is that we will never get to see if Pierce's basketball talent would take her to the WNBA and even the Olympics.

Tony Hobbs said "The big question that everybody will be asking is why. That is always one of the first things you ask the Big Guy, why did this person go? And we will never ever know except she did shed alot of light into my life being able to coach her and be around her and it was just a joy to be around her."

Turner County High School retired Ronalda Pierce's number last season.

posted at 12:05am by roberth@walb.com