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High school basketball star slain at party near Chicago

6/7/2011, 12:15 a.m.
High school basketball star slain at party near Chicago

He could've potentially been the country's next college/professional basketball star. Now, he's another statistic.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Ryan Royall, a star guard for Hillcrest High School's basketball team, was shot and killed at a Sweet 16 party at Ho-Chunk Sports and Expo Center in Lynwood, Ill. early Sunday morning.

Royall, 17, was leaving the party with some friends to rest up for a Sunday filled with games at the Riverside-Brookville Summer Tournament (where Hillcrest held a 3-0 record after Saturday). At about 12:30 a.m., as Royall and his friends approached his car, a disturbance could be heard from a nearby parking lot. According to Royall's friend Olajuwon Harris, shots soon followed and Royall was struck by bullets multiple times.

There were no reports of any violent incidents at the party leading up to the shooting.

"I can't believe Ryan is gone," Harris told the Chicago Sun-Times. "He was a big part of my life. We were together all the time."

Hillcrest High School will hold a vigil on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. Central Time in memory of Royall.

Royall was about to enter his senior year in high school and more than likely would've become a Division I college-basketball prospect. He was rated in the Top 100 Class of 2012 prospects in the state of Illinois.