Shyheim Buford was a big brother not only to his four younger siblings but also to young members of his Delaware community. The 17-year-old athlete, an avid basketball player, included anyone who wanted to join him in a casual game at the local courts.
He played guard on the varsity team for John Dickinson High School in his hometown of Wilmington, Del. And a few years ago he helped Stanton Middle School win the state championships. He dreamed of playing for Ohio State University.
“ ‘If you don’t make it to the professionals, what are you going to do?’” his mother said she once asked him. “ ‘Be a mechanic,’” he replied. He loved new cars and hoped to receive one for Christmas this year, his mother, Lekisha Buford, told msnbc. When she offered to buy him a $500 car, he refused to accept it; he dreamed of a Chrysler 300, Lexus, or Dodge Charger.
Shyheim wouldn’t let his 11-year-old sister wear lip gloss because he thought she was too young to experiment with make-up, a move typical of the protective role he played.
Shyheim was fatally shot while playing curb ball in a Wilmington neighborhood on Sept. 13. The investigation is ongoing.