WEDDINGTON, NC (KGTV/CNN) - A young man with a bright future dies while preparing for the next phase of his life. Josh Islam died this week as he was attempting to fulfill his dream of becoming a Marine.
"He wasn't going to quit. And I don't know what happened but, he wasn't going to tap out," said Islam's high school baseball coach Travis Poole.
Islam was called resilient, loyal, passionate, and quiet.
He was 18 when he died this week during a 30-minute water-treading test at Camp Pendleton in California.
Poole coached Islam for four years, and said he was always the player with the most heart.
"He had no mediocrity. He wasn't going to do anything mediocre. He was going to do it the best he could possibly do it. That's a lesson that all my kids need to learn," Poole said.
Islam helped the team win two state championships his last years in high school. With that kind of dedication, Poole was not surprised Islam wanted to be a Marine.
Islam graduated from Weddington High School in June of last year. His mom confirms, Monday, the day Josh died, was also his first day of training at Camp Pendleton.
He died just after 4 p.m., an hour and a half before the first training day would be done.
Islam came back to Weddington last October. It was the last time Poole - and many others - would see him. "We talked and, you know, he was excited. He was ready to move on to his next chapter. He graduated boot camp and so now his next chapter was as he would say, 'to be the best of the best,'" Poole said.
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