High school basketball standout killed in city shooting

Marcus Harvell played for Benjamin Franklin High

July 21, 2011|By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun

He was supposed to be in Florida right now, prepping with his teammates for a weekend basketball showcase. Instead, the team flew south Thursday afternoon without their 6-foot 5-inch forward, who was a "beast" on the court, his brother said.

"He had french fry fingers," Walter Rogers, 19, said of his little brother, Marcus Harvell. His fingers were so long and skinny, he could grip a basketball just with his fingertips, he said. Basketball was his life.

Harvell, 18, was a city basketball standout. He was also the victim of a fatal shooting Wednesday at the Brooklyn Homes housing development, police said.

"I remember he used to dribble with his palms," Rogers said, "when he really didn't know how to play when he was younger."

Baltimore police said Harvell, who lived near the intersection of 10th and East Jeffrey streets in Brooklyn, was killed about 3 p.m. inside a building in the 900 block of Herndon Court, about four blocks from the home he shared with his mother.

The preliminary investigation revealed the shooting may have been accidental, said Anthony Guglielmi, a police spokesman. Harvell was shot in the chest and was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead at 3:57 p.m., police said.

A group of Harvell's family and friends gathered Thursday afternoon in the living room of his home and looked at pictures, watched videos and laughed as they reminisced.

Guglielmi said officers detained and questioned two people who were on the scene and appeared to be trying to leave the building after the shooting. As of Thursday afternoon, police said, no arrests had been made.

Harvell's family and friends were in the dark about the incident. "We still trying to find out ourselves," said LaFawn Carter, a family friend.

Some of Harvell's teammates and coaches came by Thursday morning to offer their condolences, Rogers said. The Amateur Athletic Union team Harvell was on, the Maryland Sure Shots, left for Florida shortly after the visit.

Displayed prominently on top of a fish tank sat five of Harvell's basketball trophies, next to an 8-by-10 photo from a prom. Several of his sports medals dangled in front of the fish tank.

"Look here, he's dunking with one foot still on the ground," said Rogers, as he clicked through photo collages of his brother on the Internet. He attended two proms this year, wore size 13 shoes and was very close to his mother, Dawn Harvell, his family and friends said.

"My mother was his girlfriend," said Tiffany Harvell, 20, of her brother's affection for his mom, which he proudly declared on his Facebook page. In a family of five children, Harvell was the last one still living at home, she said, which made their relationship unique. "He was the baby."

His sister said Harvell had college opportunities and planned to play basketball after he graduated from high school. The family moved to Baltimore from Brandywine several years ago, and his new school and friends brought out his passion for basketball, Rogers said.

"About age 16, he just shot up out of nowhere," said Rogers, and his brother's height allowed him to excel on the court.

Harvell would have been a senior at Benjamin Franklin High School at Masonville Cove in Brooklyn, where he played on a school team. In February, The Baltimore Sun reported that Harvell was a forward who averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Bayhawks.

Harvell was part of a core of teammates who had played together since middle school.

"It's like a brotherhood," he told The Sun in February. "We've been together since eighth grade. It's definitely a big advantage."

Baltimore Sun reporters Justin Fenton and Matt Bracken contributed to this article.


Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.