PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The youngest victim of the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando was celebrated Monday night. It was the first annual Akyra Murray Memorial Basketball Game at West Catholic High School.
Twenty of the best female high school basketball players took the court to honor Murray, who scored 1,000 points at West Catholic in 2015. Coach Beulah Osueke organized the event as a celebration of Anyka’s life. Osueke says she still feels grief over the tragedy, but joy that she got to know Akyra.
“I never really got to thank her for believing in me and trusting in me as a coach,” Osueke said. “And so, even though I’m a bit of a tougher coach, I still try to communicate to my kids how much it means that they believe in me as a mentor, as a coach and that they really trust me with some of the most valuable and vulnerable years of their lives.”
At half time, Akyra’s family was presented with gifts to honor her memory.
“All the love and support has helped us get through each day, and I thank you, everybody, the entire world,” said her mother, Natalie Murray. “I’ve met so many people through this event.”
“I thank everyone for being here for real. My sister up there smiling on every last one of you,” her brother Alex told the crowd. “Even some of you I don’t know, I’d love to meet you all, you’re all family now.”
Several hundred people filled the gym for the memorial game.