13-year-old NY girl killed by stray bullet was ‘shining star,’ dreamed of playing basketball for UConn

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MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. — A suburban New York principal says a “shining star” was lost when a 13-year-old girl was killed by a stray bullet while riding home from basketball practice.

Graham Elementary School Principal Natasha Hunter-McGregor tells the Journal News that Mount Vernon eighth-grader Shamoya McKenzie was an “excellent student,” athlete and role model.

Shamoya was shot in the head on Saturday afternoon. On Tuesday, about 15 grief counselors were on hand as students returned from their holiday break.

Her mother said Shamoya dreamed of attending the University of Connecticut and playing for the WNBA.

She already was playing junior varsity basketball with Mount Vernon High School’s Lady Knights. She got her start playing on boys’ teams.

An online fundraising page has been set up to help her family.