Editor’s Note: Coach Jim Forbes passed away early Friday, January 21, 2022, from complications from COVID-19 just hours after the community gathered for a prayer vigil. He was 69.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Dozens gathered outside Providence Hospital’s east campus on Thursday night in support of Andress boys basketball head coach Jim Forbes, who has been hospitalized with complications from COVID-19 since Dec. 31, 2021.

Forbes’ former players tell KTSM he is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Forbes played his high school basketball at Bel Air before playing collegiately at UTEP. He even played in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, which ended in a controversial silver medal for the United States. After coaching at UTEP for three years, Forbes helped guide Riverside to the 1995 Texas 5A Final Four. He also led the Andress Eagles to the Texas 5A Sweet 16 in 2009, and a Final Four appearance in 2015.

“[The support] is so big for our community over there in the Northeast,” said Andress senior Zion Hankins. “Coach Forbes is not only a pillar at Andress, but he’s a pillar for all over El Paso. All the things he did when he was younger and all his coaching accolades — he’s such a big name in El Paso, he has so much success and we love him all over the city.”

UTEP men’s basketball head coach Joe Golding also taking a moment to share his thoughts and prayers for Forbes in his postgame press conference following the Miners’ win over UTSA on Thursday night.

“I’ve heard a lot about him, but what was incredible to me is in an hour conversation with one of the all-time best Miner players, he never talked about himself,” said Golding. “He talked about Coach [Don] Haskins, he talked about his teammates, he talked about the Olympic experience, he talked about his players at Riverside and their Final Four experience, he talked about his teams at Andress, his players and how much he was invested in those guys. To have a guy who is a legend in Miner history, spend an hour with a man and he never talked about himself. It speaks volumes about who he is.”

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