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Earl "The Twirl" Cureton celebrated in Detroit

Earl "The Twirl" Cureton Celebrated
Earl "The Twirl" Cureton Celebrated 02:06

(CBS NEWS DETROIT) -  A celebration of life took place Saturday for Earl "The Twirl" Cureton at St. Charles Lwanga Catholic Church.

"I'm sorry that I can't be a little more uplifting and say some funny things about Earl because it's too fresh, too new," said an emotional Muggsy Bogues to a packed church.

"It's hurting me too hard and I just wish you guys all the best. I hope you guys continue to be the best friends, the best ever. This is exactly what he wanted," Bogues said to Cureton's loved ones.

"Whose smile and laugh filled the room and whose work and impact in our community made such tremendous difference," said Isaiah McKinnon, former Detroit Police Chief.

Some of the work Cureton was known for was his time with St. Cecelia's, just across the street from St. Charles Lwanga, providing access to a court for others to play the sport he loved. The packed church welcomed not only Cureton's family but familiar former Detroit Pistons like Rick Mahorn and Isiah Thomas, who say Cureton embodied what the city was all about.

"He taught me how to love Detroit. Earl was everything that I think a mom and a dad would want a son to be from the city of Detroit and Earl represented that," Thomas said.

"That's the only reason I knew about St. Cecilia's in terms of Earl. He bragged about it so much, talked about every player from every era, even the era to this day, and he always had a story about it so I'm just so grateful that he and I had the chance to ball with each other over the years," added Bogues.

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