June 7, 2011

High School Basketball Star Shot Dead

By - Kris Fletcher

On Sunday, a 17-year-old basketball prospect from the Chicago area was killed in a shooting at a Sweet 16 birthday party.

Ryan Royall, a star guard from the Hillcrest High Hawks basketball team, went to a party Saturday evening in south Lynwood with a group of friends. As they left the scene at around 12:30 Sunday morning, shots were fired, and Royall was struck multiple times. Less than an hour later, he was pronounced dead at Franciscan Saint Margaret Mercy Health Care.

Photo from: yourseason.com
His death has been ruled a homicide, although police believe he was not the intended target.

As it were, Royall and his friends left when they did to recuperate before a Sunday slate of basketball games at the Riverside-Brookville Summer Tournament. He was expected to emerge in his senior season as a true Division I prospect, building off an all-conference junior season.

Now, he's gone, with family and friends struggling to come to grips with such a sudden and tragic loss.

"This was senseless," said Royall's aunt and godmother Vallaurie Dixson. "He did everything right and he's still gone in a random act of violence."