‘He was going straight to the NBA’: Compton community mourns 14-year-old basketball player fatally shot in South L.A.

Local news

More than a hundred community members gathered for a vigil in Compton Thursday in honor of a 14-year-old who was killed in South Los Angeles last week.

On July 29, police responded to the 100 block of East 87th Place around 2:20 p.m. for a report of a shooting and arrived to find Semaj Miller lying in a driveway, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The 14-year-old boy was unconscious, unresponsive and later pronounced deceased, police said. Investigators do not yet know who shot him or what the motive was.

Family members say Miller was on his way to the park to play basketball at the time of the shooting.

The teen was a basketball player for the L.A. City Wildcats, an organization that helps educate and build character for young men, according to its Instagram page. The nearly 6-foot-7-inches tall athlete was deemed for greatness, his loved ones say.

“If he stayed in line, did everything he was supposed to do, he wasn’t going to college — he was going straight to the NBA,” said Tony Thomas, a coach at Compton High School who mentored Miller. “He was going to be a combination of Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant.”

His mother, Taloma Miller, told KTLA he was a very loving person.

“He was a very very giving kid,” she said. “He loved his brother. He loved his nieces. He loved his nephews. He loved everybody.”

Miller’s younger cousin Dallas Hinton says they did everything together.

“That was my favorite cousin. I really missed him,” she said. “I can’t believe this actually happened.”

Homicide detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying the person who killed Miller.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Detectives Romero and Armenta at 323-786-5100. To report information anonymously, text 274637, call 800-222-8477 or visit http://www.lacrimestoppers.org.

The victim’s family is asking anyone interested in donating to help with funeral expenses to email Tamara Taylor at LACWILDCATS2000@aol.com.

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