STOCKTON -- Bear Creek High School's parking lot was full of people who never imagined they'd be back here during a school break for the most heartbreaking of reasons.
"Her not being here for her senior year, it's really hard to fathom."
Despite school being out, word spread quickly about Malaysia Porter's death in a car crash Friday. Everyone from classmates to teammates to teachers to coaches gathered to celebrate the 16-year-old student athlete.
"When she came in she was shy, she was quiet, she tried to hide. I said, 'Malaysia, you can't hide, you a 5'10" freshman,'" Coach Alverson said.
That freshman grew into an incoming senior who excelled as a center on the varsity basketball team, a shot put and discus thrower, a runner and an academic .
"Malaysia was an academic superstar, well about a 4.0, always tried her best," student body president Rajan Nathaniel said.
But what people mentioned most about her was her positive energy.
"She knows how to cheer you up, whenever someone was down, or after a bad play, she knew the right words to say," said former teammate Maurissa Spiller said.
But what are the right words to say in the face of such a tragic loss?
Malaysia's family lost two generations during that Friday crash on Interstate 5 near Eight Mile Road. Her grandmother was also ejected from the minivan after a tire blew and the car spun out of control.
Still, many, including her mother, did find the right words. The most common thread was gratitude.
"I only could have her for 16 years, and I made damn well, that the 16 years I could have her, that she made my life better..." Malaysia's mother, Cynthia Omobolaji, said.
"She was always happy if you got underneath her shy side, and I appreciate that about her," former teammate Deyliana Lewis said.
"She critiqued me a lot, she made me a better athlete and a better person," said Nathaniel.
Malaysia's family has set up a GoFundMe account. You can donate here.