Dyanla Rainey and her twin sister Miyanda had big plans for the future. The 22-year-olds recently moved to Maywood and were ready to expand their successful daycare.
“DeDe and MeMe” have always been a partnership to reckon with. They led Marshall to the Class 2A girls basketball state championship in 2018. DeDe did the scoring and MeMe was a lockdown defender.
On Sunday, Dyanla Rainey died after being shot three times in the back.
“She was getting ready to get out of her car on the driveway on the side of the house and a man hopped out of a vehicle and shot a few rounds into her car,” Crystal Rainey, Dyanla’s sister-in-law, said. “She was hit three times in her back.”
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Margo Rainey, Dyanla’s mother, watched it happen.
“Margo was pulling up behind her and saw it all go down,” Crystal Rainey said. “DeDe got out of the car and ran to her.”
Rainey was shot at her home on the 700 block of South 6th Avenue in Maywood and died at Loyola University Medical Center. Police haven’t released any information to the family yet.
“DeDe was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Crystal Rainey said. “We don’t know if they mistook her for someone else.”
Dyanla Rainey recently played basketball at Robert Morris and had plans to go back to school.
“She was robbed of her life,” Crystal Rainey said. “She wasn’t a biological mother yet, but those babies she took care of were everything to her.”
Dorothy Gaters, Marshall’s legendary girls basketball coach, says Rainey was one of the most memorable players she coached in her 45 years.
“She always did the right thing,” Gaters said. “Whatever you asked, she would do it the right way. Some kids always find ways to cheat. That wasn’t her.”
Rainey’s 20-point performance in the 2018 state championship game stood out to Gaters.
“She had a sprained ankle a few days before the game and was having trouble breathing during it,” Gaters said. “I had to take her out but she came to me and wanted back in, said her team needed her. The next day when we were back in Chicago she went to the hospital with fluid in her lungs.”
Crystal Rainey says the family is holding a memorial at Walnut and Sixth Avenue in Maywood on Monday night.
“There are people coming in from out of town,” Rainey said. “DeDe was a big part of the Marshall community and was important to so many people.”
The Rainey twins were at Marshall’s alumni barbecue last weekend.
“DeDe set such a great example for the other kids,” Gaters said. “Her character really stood out. She was an exceptional kid. You don’t get kids like that too frequently.”
Chicago Public Schools Sports Director David Rosengard released a statement on Rainey Monday afternoon:
“We are devastated to hear of the passing of Dyanla Rainey. Dyanla was an integral part of the Marshall community and her incredible legacy as a state champion in girls basketball and her impact as a member of the Marshall and CPS family will always be remembered and honored. Our thoughts are with the Rainey family and larger Marshall and CPS community at this time.”