PORTLAND, Ore. — A man who was killed in a shooting in Northeast Portland on Friday has been remembered as a phenomenal athlete and person in the hours following his death.
Deante Strickland, 22, was a Central Catholic High School graduate who went on to play basketball at Portland State University. Strickland joined the Vikings football team in the spring to compete in his final year of eligibility in the fall, the university said.
He was killed in a shooting that left two others injured in the 6200 block of Northeast 42nd Avenue, near Ainsworth Street, just after 2 p.m. Friday. Family says the suspect, 30-year-old Tamena Strickland, is Deante's sister. Tamena was arrested for murder and attempted murder.
An impromptu memorial was set up on the PSU campus following news of Deante's death.
Natalie Cummings, a PSU student who was Deante’s friend, said he was the happiest person anyone would meet.
“His smile just lit up any room he walked into," she said. "You couldn’t be sad or upset and have him smile around you because it was just contagious. If he was there smiling you were there smiling.”
Cummings said Deante embraced Portland and the university.
“Everybody in Portland knew him. This was “Strickcity.” I mean, this is his town. He loved it here and everybody felt it," she said.
Deante’s cousin, Jeffrey Sims, said he was a good kid.
“Deante was a well-educated college student, he went to school. He was going to play NBA or NFL,” Sims said. “Everyone in the Portland area talked about him. He was a very nice kid, didn't get in trouble. He didn't know who the police was. He did all the things right, went to school, did the right things.”
Portland State director of athletics Valerie Cleary said Deante will forever be remembered for his determination and warm smile.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Deante," Cleary said in a news release. "He represented everything it means to be a Viking in his hometown of Portland. He will forever be remembered for his character, determination and warm smile. Our prayers go out to his family and friends."
Portland State basketball coach Barret Peery said Deante was a "beautiful young man."
Former high school teammate and Southern Oregon football player Tyson Cooper said Deante was a “Portland legend.”
"StrickCity young Portland legend. You impacted so many life’s my brother you will never be forgotten. #StrickCity,” he wrote.
Others also posted on social media to share their memories about Deante.