Teammates remember 15-year-old Gregory Hill - – Rockford’s News Leader

Teammates remember 15-year-old Gregory Hill


This summer has been all about basketball for these East High School basketball team.

"Our goal is not lose a game this whole season," said East High School student Demerick Hearne.

But as they trained they also developed a friendship and a brotherhood.

Helping create that bond was Gregory Hill.

"If you needed him he was going to be there for you," said teammate Andreas Thompson.

"He always been a helpful person, he was smart, he was always cool, he always got my back, I got his back," said teammate Chris Burnell.

Hill played small forward. Friends said he was an honors student and a bit of a jokester. But on the court he was all about winning.

"He was a talented player, he was a competitor. He was going to be big part of what we were trying to do here over the next two years," said East High School Basketball Coach Roy Sackmaster.

But early Sunday morning dreams of going to state and playing college ball were shattered.

"My heart just dropped and I started crying," Hearne said.

Rockford police said an argument broke out at a house party on Green Dale early Sunday morning. Hill was not involved in the argument but he became the victim. He was killed after being shot in the head. 

"It's hard to believe that he's gone," said one teammate.

Leaving a void in this team as it tries to figure out how to move forward.

One thing teammates said they know is even though Hill won't be on the court, he'll be in their hearts, guiding them one step at a time.

Friends and family of Hill held a vigil last night. 

East High School will play their first game the week of Thanksgiving.

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