2013's last murder victim was basketball star

Quahdir Devine, 18, was a senior at Ben Franklin High School. (courtesy photos)

2013's last homicide victim of the year was a high-school basketball star known for his quick smile and love of jokes.

Quahdir Devine, 18, was a senior at Ben Franklin High School in Spring Garden, where assistant coach Dustin Hardy-Moore said he was "one of the best players in the city" who led the school's Electrons basketball team in scoring last year.

Someone shot Devine, of Warnock Street near Master in North Philly, in the chest and head outside a closed donut shop on Girard Avenue near 7th Street about 11:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve. He was the 247th homicide of 2013, the year's last reported murder. Doctors declared him dead about 15 minutes later at Temple University Hospital.

Police reported no suspects or motive. But Hardy-Moore said Devine was hanging out with friends in that area celebrating the holiday when teens began arguing and someone pulled out a gun and began firing. Devine was "an innocent bystander" who wasn't specifically targeted, Hardy-Moore said.

"All he wanted to do was play basketball and go to school," Hardy-Moore said. "He never got into any drama or trouble. He was known for laughing, smiling, telling jokes and playing basketball."

On the Electrons, he was known as "Quack" and played shooting guard, Hardy-Moore said. He led the team in scoring last year, averaging 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He also made the city's All-Public third team last year. While he was on the team's roster this year, he wasn't playing, because as a second-year senior, he was ineligible to play under Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association rules, Hardy-Moore said. The coaches had been lobbying the PIAA to allow him to play.

The Electrons have a 3:15 p.m. game against Strawberry Mansion today, where the team will honor him with a moment of silence, Hardy-Moore said. They also plan to retire and frame his #10 jersey.

"He lived in the gym," Hardy-Moore said, adding that several colleges already were scouting him.

Hardy-Moore said Devine worked in food-service at Temple University, but a Temple spokesperson couldn't be immediately reached to confirm that.

Anyone with information about his slaying is urged to call homicide detectives at (215) 686-3334 or -3335.