Loved ones remember fmr Delano basketball star

Posted at 6:41 PM, Feb 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-08 21:44:10-05

Friends and family are remembering a young Delano man today after he died in a car accident over the weekend.

Many said he was humble, supportive, and known for his bright smile.

Ali Sakr, 19, was on his way home to Delano after officiating a game in Bakersfield, but he never made it.

He was in a crash at 7th Standard Road near Cherry Avenue and died at the scene.

Monday, many of his loved ones were still trying to come to grips with the news.

“The fact that he is gone, it still hasn’t hit me. I’m still in shock mode right now and I’m still waiting for him to come home,” said Omar Sakr, one of Ali Sakr’s five brothers.

Ali Sakr played basketball all four years at Robert F Kennedy High School in Delano before graduating in 2014.

His former coach Joey Velasquez said Sakr was the team captain and was always given the teammate award at the end of the season.

“I think God needed a good one, a great one, and he got him,” said Velasquez.

Velasquez said he was impressed with Sakr from the moment he met him when Sakr was an eighth grader and walked up to Velasquez and shook his hand while introducing himself. The two remained close even after Sakr graduated high school.

Sakr was attending Bakersfield College at the Delano campus while also selling fitness supplements and officiating middle school and high school basketball games.

Friends and family said Sakr was always willing to help others, adding Sakr used to work at a school as a teachers aide for elementary students and special needs students.

“He was either doing it for basketball, he was doing it to make people happy or he was doing it just to better himself, just health wise," said his brother Mohamed Sakr.

Those who knew him say he was always positive and they are going to miss the big smile he was known for always wearing.

His girlfriend of four and a half years, Erika Chavez, said she feels as if Sakr is still with her and she plans to continue to carry on his legacy and his smile.

“It’s his turn to shine, even though he’s not here, he’s always been an all star, always in the spotlight. And he’s going to keep it going, always,” said Chavez.

School officials said there will be grief counselors on campus tomorrow for the students.

The high school boys basketball team will honor Sakr in a moment of silence on Friday before their home game.

Friends and family also plan on honoring Sakr Friday. They will be holding a candle light vigil outside of the Robert F. Kennedy gymnasium at 7:30pm.