High School Basketball Star Killed in Florida Nightclub Shooting


One of the two victims killed during a shooting at a club early Monday was a high school basketball star in Southwest Florida.

Stef’An Strawder, 18, was going to be a senior at Lehigh Senior High School in the fall. He had aspirations to play Division I college basketball.

Up to 16 people were shot at Club Blu in Fort Myers after a party billed as a “Glow Party and Birthday Bash.”

Stephanie White, Strawder’s mother, said her son died at 3:30 a.m. ET.

He was shot in his right shoulder as he walked through Club Blu’s door on his way to the parking lot, his mother said. White heard Strawder had pushed his cousin out of the way right before he was hit.

Strawder’s sister, Sharrelle, 19, suffered a non-fatal gunshot wound to the leg in the incident, their mother said.

“Why him? Why Stef?” White said. “No matter where he went, everyone invited him into their home like he was their own. People loved him.”

Strawder was the catalyst for Lehigh’s offense during a 19-8 season, averaging 15.6 points, 5.5 assists and 2.8 steals per game. He also was a member of the Florida Future Elite 17U team, which competed at the AAU National Championship Showcase in Orlando over the weekend.

He returned from the tournament Saturday and went to the school, where he took team pictures for the coming season. He went to church Sunday morning with his mother at St. Mary’s Progressive Missionary Baptist Church and then ate dinner with family at his aunt’s. White said he hugged everyone and told them he loved them before he left.

Before he went to the club, White told him to be aware. “I told him to know your surroundings. Know where the exits are,” White said.

Former Lehigh coach Dawn McNew, who stepped down after the season, and her successor Greg Coleman planned to meet with team members to help them through Strawder’s death.

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Source: USA Today | Cory Mull and David Dorsey, The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press