The 38-year-old man fatally shot over the weekend in South Baltimore's Westport neighborhood was the father of one of the top girls basketball recruits in the country, friends said.

Freddie King was an avid supporter of daughter Tyshell's basketball career, attending every game and making sure she stayed on track to attend college. A standout senior guard at St. Frances Academy, she is ranked as one of the top 50 players in the country and has verbally committed to play at Georgetown University, where she plans to be a pre-medical major.


"For the DMV [DC-Maryland-Virginia] area, girls basketball will never be the same," said Tim Alston, a friend whose daughter played with Tyshell. "He brought life to the gym, cheering for the girls no matter what team they played for."

Police say officers responding to a report of a shooting Saturday in the 2600 block of Kent St. at about 10 p.m. found King suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead. Police said he was found 100 feet away from his vehicle. The driver's side door was open and the keys were in the ignition.

Detectives do not have a motive or suspects, a police spokesman said.

Lisa Bodine, a girls basketball scout who writes for ESPN, said King had done time in prison — court records show he received seven years in 1996 for a drug distribution conviction — and that he was focused on his daughter having a better life.

"He always told me, 'I didn't accomplish much with my life, I made a lot of mistakes, but I want my daughter to have a way out. I want her to have everything that I didn't have,'" Bodine said. She said he had memorized the academic rankings of colleges.

A major factor in Tyshell's selection of Georgetown was so her father could attend games, Bodine said. She had originally committed to Wake Forest.

"[Tyshell] pretty much knows what to do from this point, because he is still so much in her," said Alston, who has been helping care for her. "Her work ethic, dealing with the streets of Baltimore, making the right decisions. She knows what to do."

King had worked as a car salesman, and had lost his job late last year. He and his family had stayed for several months with Alston, but King had been able to begin working again and found a place for his daughter and a son.

"We did everything to get our girls a scholarship. It didn't matter where," said Alston, whose daughter will attend Penn State. "We both knew we didn't have money to pay for education, and the only [way] to get it was through basketball and hard work."

Anyone with information is urged to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.