Kwasi Johnson, one of the more well-known AAU coaches in the greater Houston area, was shot and killed over the weekend, according to a report from RCSsports.com. Johnson was 27.
Johnson was an assistant coach for the Houston Suns Elite, a team of Class of 2011 players that made its mark all over the country. Byron Johnson, Kwasi's older brother, is the head coach.
Jim Hicks, senior editor for RCSsports.com and a major ambassador for Houston-area basketball, was with Byron Johnson when he received the news on Sunday, as both were preparing for the "Rucker on Wood" invitation-only basketball showcase in town.
"The look in Byron's eyes was freezing cold, as he told me, 'I've got to go, something just happened to my brother,'" Hicks said. "An hour later, the word was relayed back to the gym. We conducted a moment of silence for the family."
The Suns established themselves as one of the top teams in the greater Houston area by possessing a talented group of players. Among those top players are Demarcus Johnson, Joe Miles and C.J. Shelvin.
One Suns standout, Jacoby Harrison took the news twice as hard. Kwasi Johnson is Harrison's uncle.
"When we all found out, we didn't believe it. We were all in shock," said Harrison, who found out during the "Rucker on Wood," along with five other Suns teammates. "We all just sat down and asked each other how we were going to keep it going.
"I've known him all my life as my uncle. He was a fun person to be around. We loved to go places with him, and we loved to practice for him. He yelled at us at times, but it was for our own good. He loved us like we were his own kids."
Funeral arrangements are pending, Harrison said. Kwasi Johnson, according to Hicks, had a 2-year-old son and was defined as a coach "who had more of a big cousin type relationship with the kids." He loved to have fun with his players and loved to see his players excel on and off the court.
"He was fortunate to have a team that drew plenty of attention state wide," Hicks said. "He so loved that attention. It's sad to see a young brother leave us due to another senseless killing."
Harrison added: "We all decided we were going to dedicate everything to him. Every time we play, we're going to be playing for him."