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Westchester's First Semi-Pro Basketball Team Formed In Memory Of Slain Teen

Shamoya McKenzie
Shamoya McKenzie Photo Credit: MVHS Lady Knights Basketball Facebook

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - Westchester County’s first women’s semi-pro basketball team is being formed in the memory of Shamoya McKenzie, the 13-year-old girls basketball star who was shot and killed in Mount Vernon on New Year’s Eve.

Tryouts begin on Wednesday for the Mount Vernon ShamRocks, which are being held at the Boys & Girls Club on South 6th Avenue.

The ShamRocks are being founded by three women who grew up in Mount Vernon, Marsha Blount, the CEO of the Women’s American Basketball Association, Patrice Wallace-Moore, a former women’s head coach in Mount Vernon and former Mount Vernon resident Mia Williamson, who are “teaming up to spotlight the talented women basketball players within the city.”

"In a city known for being home to a number of basketball success stories, Mount Vernon will now be known for establishing the first women’s semi-pro basketball team in the county,” they said in a statement announcing tryouts. “Mount Vernon Shamrocks, founded by 3 women who grew up in the city, was formed in honor of Shamoya McKenzie, a promising Mount Vernon teen who was killed by gun violence while on her way home from basketball practice at Mount Vernon High School.”

At approximately 2:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, McKenzie was a passenger in the car when she was struck in the head by a stray bullet that was allegedly intended for another man involved in gang activity. McKenzie was transported to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead. A second victim was also struck in the shooting, suffering non-life threatening injuries.

A star for both the Mount Vernon Junior Knights, Lady Elites and the High School JV Lady Knights, McKenzie had dreams of attending the University of Connecticut to play under coach Geno Auriemma before making her way to the WNBA.

Tryouts are being held between 8:30. and 10:30 p.m. this week at the Boys & Girls Club. Those interested in registering to tryout can email

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