As family and friends embraced, basketball teammates of Darius Brown retired the jersey of a boy who had dreams of making it to the NBA.
Brown was killed last week while playing a pickup game of his favorite sport in Metcalfe Park, the unintended recipient of a gunman's bullet, police said.
"It's dreadful. And it's something that we can relate to -- that I can personally relate to -- and this kid was on the basketball court honing his skills of becoming the next or better Derrick Rose and his life was cut short," said Chicago Bulls Ambassador Sydney Green.
As Brown takes his dreams to the grave, those gathered Tuesday at St. Phillip Neri Parish, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, can only hope his killer will be caught soon.
"Look at the absurdity of a 13-year-old boy in a casket," said Fr. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina's Catholic Church. "How the hell do we live like that?"
A reward of $9,000 for information that leads to an arrest of Brown's shooter remains standing. Police specifically want to talk to the people in the late-model white sedan spotted by a surveillance camera near 43rd and State around the time of the shooting.
Brown would have been an 8th grader at Holy Angels Catholic School and would have started school this month.
Police ask that anyone with information about the homicide contact the Area One Detective Division at 312-747-8380.