WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The news of Carly Barron’s death hit hard for Lori Drake.
Carly wasn’t just another player for Drake’s Cape Fear Community College Sea Devils, she was someone Lori knew as a teenager. Their paths crossed at Myrtle Grove Middle School. Lori then followed Carly’s career at Ashley High School and eventually offered her a roster spot on CFCC’s women’s basketball team, where, out of tragedy, her number 24 will never be worn again.
Lori Drake made the decision to retire the number, presenting Carly’s home jersey to her family on Wednesday.
“They were overwhelmed with emotions." Drake said. "It was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do. To stand in front of an entire family, they were just forever grateful.”
Carly Baron was shot and killed after a traffic accident on Halloween. Jaquan Jackson was arrested shortly after that accident and is facing second degree murder charges.
Carly only played one season at CFCC, she wasn’t a starter, she knew basketball wasn’t her future and that modeling was.
“She came to me and said coach, this is what I want to do with my life, you know I want to pursue modeling. I want to go to LA, you know I want to do this and do that." Drake said. "I said go do it, don’t let basketball hold you back. I said you know it will be here and you will always be a Sea Devil.”
Lori admits the idea to retire Carly’s jersey number was something that happened very fast. She’s not sure how it will be handled inside of the Schwartz Center. It will however come off of the roster. Akyia King who currently wears the number 24 told Lori Drake “that’s Carly’s number not mine.”