Richardson said Price leaves a legacy as an athlete, coach, and musician. He also admired his determination for helping youth facing barriers and disadvantages.
Tim DiPiero, a Charleston attorney and close friend of Price, said he had prayed for a miracle throughout Price's illness and was sad to lose a good friend.
"It's a sad day," DiPiero said. "Curt meant so much to so many people. His reputation preceded him. He was a classy guy. He was so talented in basketball, music and people skills. He had great integrity. Curt meant a lot to a lot of people.
"He set a shining example for young athletes. He was a great mentor while coaching. We will really miss him. I really feel for his family. He was just a great guy."
Price was a member of a talented Charleston High team that finished as the state runner-up in 1967 and champion in '68. Price was named a Street & Smith All-American and he -- along with high school teammates Levi Phillips and Larry "Deacon" Harris -- went on to play for WVU.
Price played through pain during three seasons (1970-72) in Morgantown, and finished his collegiate career with averages of 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 73 games.
"We had a great relationship even though Curtis was gone before I got to WVU," said Bob Huggins, the current men's basketball coach for the Mountaineers and a player at the school from 1975-77. "But as we are fond of saying in our state, we all know each other. I think that is very true of West Virginia basketball players.
"I think the greatest thing about Curtis is, it doesn't matter who you talk to, everybody talked about how wonderful Curtis the man was. That's more important and certainly more meaningful than Curtis the basketball player."
In a 2008 interview with the Charleston Gazette's Sandy Wells, Price described his childhood on Charleston's East End as a happy period where he was surrounded by positive influences. He said he was "blessed with super parents."
"There were a lot of young people my age, and we all grew up playing everything, basketball, football, baseball. It was a very loving environment. The whole community cared about you, and you cared about the whole community.
Price, who was 57 at the time, said he was excited about the future.
"I feel very blessed. It's been a life of always looking to the next challenge or opportunity," he said.
"I wouldn't change a thing."
Other Top HeadlinesClimate change scientists, deniers clash in W.Va.