Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Mount Vernon basketball star

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Man held in death of basketball star; new conference expected today
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Candace McCowan reporting

MOUNT VERNON, New York (WABC) -- Police on Monday announced they had made an arrest in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old basketball star who was struck in the head by a stray bullet while on her way home from practice on New Year's Eve.

Hundreds of mourners packed the Macedonia Baptist Church on Friday to bid a final farewell to Shamoya McKenzie, whose dreams of playing for the University of Connecticut and in the WNBA came to a tragic end far too soon.

McKenzie was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Greenburgh on Saturday, and last week she was made an honorary member of the UConn women's basketball team. Coach Geno Auriemma said he decided to make the gesture after hearing her story, and he also sent McKenzie's family a team jersey with her number, 30, along with a letter that read, "Once a Husky, Always a Husky."

"I don't know that it makes anything any better," Auriemma said Tuesday night after his Huskies won their 90th consecutive game. "But, it was just our way of saying, 'You didn't get a chance to be here, but you kind of are.'"

McKenzie, who was 6-foot-2, was already playing for Mount Vernon's junior varsity high school team and had just been called up to the varsity team the day she died. She was described by Mount Vernon school officials and coaches as excellent student, athlete and role model.

After college, she had hoped to turn pro with the WNBA.

A news conference is expected Tuesday morning to give details of the arrest. McKenzie's mother is expected to attend.