Christopher Cheeks was born May 27, 1967, at Freeman Hospital (Now Howard University Hospital) and departed this life on Thursday, April 21, 2022, after a brief illness. Chris grew up in the District of Columbia in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. He was a proud Washingtonian who often referred to himself as a “beloved son of D.C.” Chris’ love for sports started at an early age. Those who knew him would describe him as a gifted athlete. As a child, he participated in baseball, football, and basketball. He attended the Marie Reed Recreation Center, Boys Club #8 Georgetown, 5 Star Camp in Pittsburgh, PA, and Camp Dudley in upstate New York. Ultimately, he decided that basketball was his first love. He adored his high school basketball coach and often expressed that he was the one who was instrumental in placing him on the trajectory to work in a field for which he had great passion. Fortunately, he captured portions of the story of his greatest passion in his own words.
“My athletic experiences started in the 80s as a kid in the Adams Morgan area. I was fortunate to have opportunities that allowed me to participate in various sporting activities to keep me busy. I was able to dodge the lure of the streets of Washington, DC.
My college journey began in 1985 after graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC as a standout basketball player and former First-Team All-Met Athlete. As a student-athlete, I first attended Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas, then went on to complete my undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, where I was named to the All-Century Team for men's basketball.
After college, I had a brief professional basketball career in Portugal that ended due to injury. It was then that I discovered my love for mentoring young men and helping them to attain their goals--particularly those who aspired to become quality basketball players. I started coaching AAU basketball in Richmond, Virginia, before being hired as the head basketball coach at Atlee High School in Mechanicsville, Virginia. I served as head coach for 3 years. At the end of my 3rd season, I received the call from my alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University. That would mark the beginning of my 23-year collegiate coaching career in men's basketball.
I wanted to be a coach so that I could be in a position to help minority male youth, who came from single-parent homes and impoverished areas, build a foundation towards a successful life. My record speaks for itself. All but five of the young men I've recruited have received college degrees, and those five guys went on to play professional basketball. Currently, one is completing his degree and was a recent first round draft pick for the NBA. I strongly believe in the importance of athletics as an investment in our youth and their future.”
Chris was devoted to his family. He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Mona. They Married in 2015, more than 25 years after they first met at Virginia Commonwealth University. The timing was right. He also leaves to cherish his memory two sons, Christopher Cheeks, Jr. and Brandon Cheeks, and their mother Simone Lott (Frank), his step-daughter, Lauren Lipscomb, his mother, Anita Cheeks, his granddaughter, Kaydon Cheeks, and two brothers, Larry Holmes, Jr. (Teresa) and William Hall, Jr. His relationship with his family was special and helped him stay grounded and focused on what was important. Chris also had a host of relatives, dedicated friends, colleagues, former players and teammates whom he loved and those who will miss him dearly.
Chris surpassed many milestones as a basketball player in his formative years at Woodrow Wilson High School, as well as his time with Virginia Commonwealth University. See the following articles for details highlighted here.
Services will be live streamed Tuesday, May 3, 2022: http://tributeoflove.org/
COVID STATEMENT: MASKS ARE REQUIRED UPON ENTRY INTO CHURCH