Former Wildcat basketball star Chris Gruver dies at 49

Word has been received of the death Friday of 1991 Wayland High School graduate Christine Gruver. She was 49.

Well known in her high school days as an excellent basketball player, Gruver was stricken with a sudden serious heart issue and collapsed at a Gus Macker hoops tournament in the summer after her graduation. She survived and continued to battle courageously from her wheelchair ever since.

Classmate and friend Shelly Salisbury Whitley posted on Facebook, “She was lovingly and so compassionately cared for by her parents at her childhood home on Gun Lake. Her Dad (Ron) passed in June of 2021 and Chris seemed to have challenge after challenge upon losing him. They were very close.

“We rejoice in the hope that on Friday Sept. 30t, she was reunited with her Dad in the Heavenly realm. She fought a courageous battle on Earth and although our hearts are hurting we are trying to find comfort in the remembering of an incredibly blessed childhood with our friend.”

Among her survivors is her mother, Linda.

“I am so thankful to have grown up with a friend like Chris.” Whitley added. “She was complete sunshine and happiness all the time. She was all about fun and adventure and she pulled me on many that I’ll cherish forever.

“The summer of 1991 went from one of complete carefree bliss after graduation to tragedy and heartbreak. Things were never the same with our friends gang. In many ways she was the glue. Until we meet again Gruver.”

Teammate Laura Barghan posted, “ May you be at peace, my friend, you were one of the best friends I’ve ever had and the best point guard ever.”

Information about funeral arrangements will be announced later.

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