Philly’s West Catholic holds basketball memorial for Pulse nightclub’s youngest victim

    Last night West Catholic High School remembered alum Akyra Murray. She was the youngest victim of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando Florida one year ago. Her memorial was held where she shined — on the court. 

    Chablis Moran was one of Akrya’s closest friends — the kind of friend who remembers when the star player, set to accept a college scholarship, struggled on the court.

    “She was horrible ok? But you know, going to practices with her, she just got better and better and her passion for basketball just grew and grew and it made me actually love basketball even more because she would bring everybody out from the community and just play fives,” remembered Moran. “It was just a fun time.”

    Naomi Washington Leapheart is a minister who became close with the Murray’s following a candlelight vigil held at City Hall Last year.

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    “Akyra’s life really reflected the leadership and justice,” said Lea-Heart. “She died trying to save her friend. And there’s nothing more holy than that. And so we honor her by being committed to being the kind of leader and kind of friend she was. And she loved basketball.”

    In her memory, her family and West Catholic have set up a foundation to fund a high school basketball scholarship in her name. Her mom, Natalie Murray, along with Akyra’s extended family, cheered from the sidelines, during the game held to honor her daughter.

    “I thank everybody for their love, prayers and support. It’s just a joyful moment for me right now knowing that she had all this love surrounding her,” said Murray.

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