High School: Jayone Troutman

Hoops Classic to honor Royall's memory

May, 4, 2012
5/04/12
10:19
AM CT
Even though Hillcrest senior Jayon’e Troutman witnessed Ryan Royall killed by a stray bullet in June of 2011, it took Troutman months to realize his close friend and high school basketball teammate was truly gone.

Jayone Troutman
Scott Powers/ESPNChicago.comJayon'e Troutman will wear No. 30 at Southwestern Baptist University in Missouri next season to honor the memory of his friend Ryan Royall.
“I was in disbelief for two months,” Troutman said on Thursday. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Nearly a year has passed since Royall’s death, but Troutman hasn’t forgotten Royall. Troutman’s mission is to keep his friend’s memory alive, and the Chicago United Hoops Classic, an annual Chicago-area all-star game, will help his cause on Saturday.

All of the game’s participants, which include Troutman, are required to sign the Norm Van Lier Scholarship Fund non-violence pledge, a 125-word document vowing to avoid fighting with weapons, fists or language and declare, “The violence stops with me.”

“Norman could not stand the fact that so many kids were in harm’s way in their own neighborhoods where bullets fly frequently,” said Susan Van Lier, the wife of the late Norm Van Lier, a former Chicago Bulls player and television commentator. “We are trying to create a new generation of leaders who believe violence should be eliminated.”

The game will be held at the University of Chicago’s Gerald Ratner Athletic Center at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The annual game is a primary funding source for the Norm Van Lier Scholarship Fund.

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