Hundreds mourn slain ex-Proviso East three sport athlete
BY MAUDLYNE IHEJIRIKA Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org May 24, 2013 9:06PM
Demario Brown, DaShamone's oldest brother, gives one last hug to his brother during the funeral for former Proviso East athlete DaShamone "Spuddy" McCarty at Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood, Ill., on Friday, May 24, 2013. Dashamone McCarty, 19, was shot and killed in Maywood just days returning home from his first year at Dakota College. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 26, 2013 6:20AM
On both sides of Dashamone McCarty’s casket, framed No. 11 Proviso East jerseys stood guard.
McCarty’s coach and former team members — the Pirates of Proviso East — where the 19-year-old played track, football and basketball before graduating last June, also were there.
So were his new coach and teammates — the Lumberjacks of Dakota College in Bottineau, N.D. — where McCarty went on to play football and basketball.
They brought with them his Dakota No. 24 jersey, and at one point team members held it up high.
“It isn’t a sad occasion, more like a celebration,” his older sister, Shemeika McCarty, said after the funeral held at Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood Friday morning for the teen who was murdered on May 15. He had been barely home a week after his first year of college.
“Even though we’re broken, and it’s hurting — it hurts so bad that he’s gone — we’re trying to celebrate him,” she said. “We’re going to be strong. It’s just so hard to believe that he’s gone. He was trying to get out of the ‘hood. He was the one that was going to make it.”
McCarty was fatally shot as he rode in the back seat of a moving car with three other passengers at night as he was on his way to get something to eat, police and friends said.
As of Friday, no arrests had been made.
“There’s no developments. It’s still under investigation,” Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry said.
McCarty, known as Deshawn, and by the nickname “Spuddy,” was described by staff at the two schools and others as being a driven teen, who worked hard. He also was a tough competitor, who was a dedicated friend, leader, and someone teammates looked up to, they said.
The teen, who his family said prevailed despite a rough childhood, also was described as sweet and humorous, and a good listener who always knew what to say to make you feel better.
“Our family was close. He was funny, a person you wanted to be with, a best friend who always said the right things. But he was shy, too,” said his oldest brother, Demario Brown.
“I’ll always remember playing basketball together. We’d always choose opposing teams. I always said I could beat him and he always said he could beat me. But the truth was, he was better.”
The pews of the church were packed with hundreds of family, friends and supporters. McCarty’s large and extended family wore all white, some wearing shirts emblazoned with various photos of the three-sport athlete, and declaring, “It’s Spuddy’s world.”
Another sister, Starnisha McCarthy, wept at the podium as she read a poem she wrote for him.
“My heart aches with such harsh pain, why they had to take you away...You were so joyful and harmless, without you I feel heartless,” she said through tears. “Mom’s heart, I pray it heals right...I’m gonna miss you more than I can say, your smile, your laugh and your handsome face. We love you baby boy. Rest in peace. Spuddy, you made the team.”
McCarty was buried at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park.
Survivors include his mother, Detonia Flowers; two brothers; four sisters; 13 nieces and nephews; his aunt, Lexis Gillespie, who helped raise him, and other relatives.