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February 21, 2007

Mother of UGA player dies in fire

University of Georgia redshirt freshman defensive end Michael Lemon's mother, Phaba LaDon Hollingshed-Lemon, died early Wednesday morning in a fire at her home in Lizella, Ga. She was 39.

"All of the Bulldog family share in the grief of Michael Lemon, his family, and those close to him," said UGA Athletic Director Damon Evans in a statement. "Our hearts go out to them, and our prayers are certainly with them during this tragic time."

Local reports quote Macon-Bibb Fire Department representative Donnie Mercer as saying that the home was fully engulfed in flames when fire teams arrived.

"We are all saddened by the news involving the untimely death of Michael (Lemon's) mother. We're in the process of determining whatever the NCAA will allow us to do to help him through this difficult time," said head coach Mark Richt. "It may be that what Michael needs is time and peoples' prayers. We all appreciate whatever people can do to give him both."

A newspaper carrier discovered the fire at about 5:30 a.m. while on her delivery route. She was able to wake up the victim's 15 year old son by pounding on the front door, and he escaped the blaze.

A former All State selection from Stratford Academy in Macon, Michael Lemon is slated to compete for either of the two defensive end positions left open with the departure of both Quentin Moses and Charles Johnson.



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