Bryan Bresee, a star defensive tackle with the Clemson University football team, announced Thursday his 15-year-old sister, Ella, has died from brain cancer.
“My beautiful sister Ella you amazed me every single day with the fight that you put up and how joyful you were constantly through this battle,” he captioned a series of pictures of her on Instagram.
“Never did I think I would be sitting here today saying bye to you. I want to thank you for bringing happiness to not only me but so many people. You are the best sister a brother could ask for and I know for a fact heaven has gained a beautiful angel today, Love you forever and always Ella bear.”
Clemson head football coach Dabo Sweeney shared his support for the family.
“Our prayers continue to be with the entire Bresee family. We are all so appreciative of all the love and support that has been shown by the Clemson Family and so many others during this time,” he said in a statement shared by the school’s football team.
“Ella was such a sweet spirit, and her spirit will continue to live on throughout the Bresee family and everyone who had the opportunity to know her. I am stronger today for having experienced Ella’s strength and courage.”
The Tigers' football team also mourned her death.
“Ella Bresee will continue to be a source of light and strength for this program and the entire Clemson community,” it tweeted. “Please join us in sending our love and support to Bryan and the Bresee family.”
"Sometimes there are no words to say. We are all with you, Bryan," Clemson's athletic department tweeted.
Bresee is a redshirt sophomore from Damascus, Maryland. He was named ACC Rookie of the Year following the 2020 season. The school had rallied around him while sister had cancer.
“(Bresee) recorded two tackles in ‘Ella Strong’ game vs. Furman, a game dedicated to his younger sister Ella in the midst of her battle with brain cancer,” the team wrote in his bio on its website while highlighting his accomplishments for the current season.
Fifth-ranked Clemson is next scheduled to take the field Sept. 17 when it hosts Louisiana Tech University. It's unclear if Bresee will play in that game.