Basketball tournament honors Hempstead teen killed by driver

Posted: Updated:
HEMPSTEAD -

A fundraising basketball tournament was held in Hempstead Saturday, honoring a teenager who was struck and killed by an unlicensed driver.

Ka'Juan Polley, 15, was struck by the driver in 2015 while he was riding his bike near his home on the corner of Front Street and Cameron Avenue.

Police say the 57-year-old driver did not have a license and was issued a summons.

“This is ridiculous,” said Ka’Juan’s mother Jennifer Smith. “All they do is get hit with a fine and that's it? My son is gone.”

MORE: Siblings attend Hempstead prom in place of late brother

Ka’Juan had dreams of becoming a professional basketball player. Saturday’s event was a tribute to him in more ways than one.

“I think he would be very excited to see his friends and family have fun and he would especially be on the court playing basketball,” said his sister Princess Zaira Smith.

Hempstead Village Mayor Don Ryan said he had fond memories of Ka’Juan when he coached him.

“He was a pleasure. I truly miss him, but I applaud his family for keeping his memory alive with events such as this,” he said.

The teen’s parents said he would have graduated high school this past June. His dream was to go to Duke University and play in the NBA one day.

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