Family of Michigan basketball star Tony Tolbert gets vaccinated following his death

Family wants people to trust science, not social media

Tony Tolbert, a Detroit high school basketball star who played at two Michigan universities, died Aug. 2.
Tony Tolbert, a Detroit high school basketball star who played at two Michigan universities, died Aug. 2.

DETROIT – Tony Tolbert, a Detroit high school basketball star who played at two Michigan universities, died Aug. 2.

The stand-out Detroit Mercy College star lost a brief battle with COVID. He was 50 years old.

Read: How Michigan colleges, universities are preparing for students to return to campus amid COVID pandemic

Tolbert and his family were refusing to get vaccinated, but after his death, the family has a new message for everyone.

It took Tolbert’s death for the family understand the need for the shot. One-by-one, they rolled up their sleeves to get the vaccine. They made it a family affair at Kingdom Covenant Church, located on Seven Mile Road in Hamtramck.

The church serves as a vaccine center.

The family said they were afraid, even though Regina Davis -- the mother of Tony Tolbert’s children -- and her pastor both contracted COVID. The two made it through the illness and thought Tolbert would too. They thought the side effects of the shot would be worst than getting the disease.

You can watch Paula Tutman’s full story in the video above.

More: Where to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan in August: List of clinics


About the Author:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.