Basketball showcase honors teen killed and highlights young SWFL talent

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

Some of the best basketball talent in Southwest Florida took to the court to honor the life of a teenager taken too soon. Stef’an Strawder was one of two teens who was killed in a shooting at Club Blu in 2016. A yearly event remembers the young high school basketball star, whose life was lost to violence

The third annual Stef’an Strawder Showcase was hosted at Mariner High School in Cape Coral Friday.

“Stef’an wasn’t the biggest of kids, but his heart was big,” said Keith White, Stef’an’s uncle. “And there’s a lot of kids around here like him.”

And Stef’an’s family knows the impact of the showcase goes beyond the sport.

Annd it’s not difficult for Stef’an’s family and friends to honor and remember him.

“Stef’an continues to motivate everyone no matter where he is,” said Bershard Edwards, Stef’an’s friend.

Community leaders are also aware of the impact Stef’an has in the area.

“I guarantee it everyone of these kids knows about Stef’an’s legacy,” Lt. Sylvester Smalls of Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Strawder was a star basketball player at Lehigh Senior High School.

“At this point, we think he’d be getting ready going into the drafts doing some D league stuff,” White said.

And a big crowd showed up for Stef’an to support the young star for the third year and to highlight local talent to scouts and keep the unsolved Club Blu case alive.

“Hopefully that will turn something positive towards solving his case,” White said.

Three years ago, 18-year-old Strawder was one of two teens killed at a teen night party at Club Blu.

“Everything is still an active investigation,” Smalls said. “It needs to be solved.”

Sean Archilles was also killed in the shooting. His brother DeSean Archilles participated for his third time in the showcase this year.

“My brother Sean Archilles, he passed away during the shooting,” DeSean said. “He was only 14. That was the worst day of my life. A lot of grieving. To this day I’m still grieving, but it fuels the fire in me.”

There have been no arrest in the shooting. The person who killed two teenagers is still out there.

“If it was their family, they’d want them to fess up ,” said. “I’d want the same.”

Strawder’s family believes justice will come.

“That’s gonna happen,” White said. “We put that in their hands. You can do anything, but give it some time.”

Next year, organizers said they plan to have a girls’ basketball showcase as well.

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