Slain Teen Honored At Y.E.S. Basketball Game

Posted at 4:59 PM, Feb 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-13 19:23:13-05

It was a packed house at the community center on McIver Street. The game was red against blue, but every player wore a bit of purple.

Before the game Saturday, headbands with purple initials T-B and embroidered angel wings were handed out to each player.

WEB EXTRA: View Full Tribute Ceremony For Treyonta Burleson

During this game the memory of Treyonta Burleson weighed heavy on the hearts of her former teammates and coaches. Perhaps, more than most for Coach Daryl Elliott.

"I met Treyonta before she was 5-years-old," said Elliott. 

Before her death Treyonta was heavily involved with Nashville's Youth and Encouragement Service as basketball was one of her passions.

"Doing it on each and every Saturday for her was a special time for her," Elliott said. 

When she wasn't in school, Treyonta spent the majority of her time in the Y.E.S. program. Sadly, the day she was gunned down in her neighborhood the program was closed.

"We had just saw her on Monday. Kids were out of school on Tuesday because it was Election Day," Elliott explained.

That afternoon, what started as an argument on social media turned into a homicide investigation. Treyonta, just 14 years old, was shot twice in the chest. She passed before making it to the hospital.

"Treyonta was more than just Treyonta, she was a big sister to her brothers and sisters, she looked after them. She was also just a kid in her neighborhood who wanted to change her neighborhood," said Elliott. 

Now, in her absence, Treyonta's sister stepped onto the hardwood.

"She was very emotional because she knew that this is the same place, the same time that her sister would be playing, but only it wasn't her sister, it was her playing in her place," Elliott said. 

The teenager accused of killing Treyonta, 18-year-old Antwana Smith, went before a judge in November. Her case has been sent to the Grand Jury.