MIAMI – Instead of silence and candles, the family of Malcolm Nicholas III held a "celebration of life" at Gibson Park in Miami's Overtown Friday night. There was a DJ, dancing and food. Some of the friends of the 18-year-old aspiring NBA star wore T-shirts with pictures of him in his honor.
Among the hundreds of mourners were Miami detectives. They are still searching for clues in the Sunday night murder of the high school point guard who was visiting his parents when he was fatally shot in the street.
Nicholas was a postgraduate student at Believe Sports Academy in Athens, Tennessee. Former Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem mourned the basketball prodigy and former Miami Senior High and Mater Academy Charter School standout earlier this week on Instagram.
"This breaks my heart. I'm literally tearing up right now. This young man didn't deserve this. He had his entire life ahead of him and basketball was his way out of this city," Haslem wrote. "I've known his father all my life. I know he was a good kid."
After visiting his grandmother, detectives said Nicholas was walking to his parents home in the area of Northwest 5th Avenue and 17th Street in Overtown. He was shot about 7 p.m. five blocks away from Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
Tia Kemp, his aunt, was at the memorial Friday night after a service. Nicholas already had offers to Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Tennessee. Relatives understand a driver pulled up next to him and someone inside opened fire.
"He didn’t deserve this," Kemp said.
Detectives were asking anyone with information to call 305-603-6350 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.