14-year-old athlete tipped for NFL stardom shot dead at party

Monday - 06/05/2019 12:14
Jaylon McKenzie’s dream was to play for a team in Los Angeles. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
Jaylon McKenzie’s dream was to play for a team in Los Angeles. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
Jaylon McKenzie was killed in Venice, Illinois, on Saturday - Eighth grader had received college football scholarship offers

A 14-year-old featured in a Sports Illustrated article about young athletes who would rule the future of sports has been shot dead.

The St Louis Post-Dispatch quoted police as saying that Jaylon McKenzie, an East St Louis eighth grader, was shot on Saturday night at a party in Venice, Illinois, which is about five miles from St Louis. Police say they found McKenzie with serious wounds and he died at hospital. A 15-year-old girl was in critical condition. No arrests have been made.

baby from me because he dreamed so big,” Gunner told the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

McKenzie drew national attention when he caught five passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns at the NFL’s 8th Grade All-American Game in Canton, Ohio, in August. He posted on social media last month that he had received football scholarship offers from the University of Missouri and University of Illinois. He told Sports Illustrated his dream was to play in the NFL and be a star in Los Angeles for the Chargers or Rams.

McKenzie was also a talented basketball player, although he had his heart set on being a first-round NFL draft pick. “He wanted to attend a Division I university, no specific one, but he was excited about the offers coming in,” his mother said. “A few coaches were in last week. LSU was watching him, Western Michigan were in town and got a chance to see him practice.”

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 Keywords: NFL

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