Father of WNBA star dies in York County car crash

MCCONNELLS, S.C. — Charles Latta, 67, died in a car crash Tuesday outside  York County and the McConnells community is mourning the beloved resident’s death.

Eyewitness News reporter Stephanie Tinoco spoke with his family to hear the legacy he's leaving behind.

"It's still like a little nightmare. I don't really believe it," his daughter Ivory Latta said. "My dad was like my backbone. He was my best friend, my biggest critic."

Latta is a WNBA star and leads South Carolina as the all-time scorer.

She said her father was a gentle giant with a humble heart.

“We talked about every single thing from off the court and on the court," Ivory Latta said about her father.

A basketball court in McConnells is where

She said her father helped shape her skills and character at a basketball court in McConnells.

"He's my heart,” Ivory Latta said. “I'm going to miss him for sure."

Tuesday’s crash devastated the community.

Troopers said Charles Latta veered off U.S. Highway 321 before hitting a tree on the right side of the road.

"Shortly, when they got there, they told me they couldn't revive him," Charles Latta's wife, Cheena Latta, said.

She said her husband lived life with a purpose, which was to call out the purpose in others who never saw a future for themselves.

"You would not believe the multitude of kids he encouraged and he made do better," Cheena Latta said.

Charles Latta had Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade but that never kept him from being the best coach, husband, father and friend.

"He was the type of man that kept going,” Cheena Latta said. “He kept going and (it encouraged) so many people. People would say, ‘Man, I don't know how he could keep going,’ but he did."

Coach Paula Blackwell knew Charles Latta and his family.

She said he would be there for anyone and was a great family man. He will be missed, but his legacy will move on, she said.

Blackwell said Charles Latta wanted everyone to be successful and encouraged them to go to college and get good grades.

He was the epitome of a community activism, said York City Councilman Steve Love.

Charles Latta was a father to every child he met, Love said.

"If I can tell him, I would be, like, ‘Thank you. Thank you for making (me) the woman I am today,'" Ivory Latta said.

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