A daughter’s death – the father of a star high-school athlete confronts New York City’s patterns of violence

It’s one of these stories that should embody the American dream:

Young African-American woman, basketball genius who’s on the path to overcome an unfavorable social environment by winning a basketball scholarship and becoming the first member of her family to get a college degree. She had a tattoo of a basketball on her right forearm with the words

“It’s not a game, it’s my life”

Instead it illustrates the paradox of a safer NYC with the lowest number of homicide of any year in record in 2014 but almost 20% of the shootings occurred in public-housing developments which hold less than 5% of the population, next to a gentrifying neighborhood with a 9-story glass block designed by Renzo Piano just across Broadway.

The article reflects the journey of a father once a gifted basketball player, arrested for drug dealing and a murder he didn’t commit. Acquitted twice, he took the deal to avoid a 3rd trial as it included an Alford plea where he didn’t have to admit to any wrongdoing and served 1 year and was released in April 1992. His daughter “Chicken” was born on 4th May 1993.

At the trial of his daughter’s murder he meets one of the 2 suspects and befriends her.

Together they lobbied for 2 years and finally open a crisis center, a safe, positive space for young people of both housing-projects to get to know one another and tear down this wall of animosity.