Coach John Calipari gifts mother of teen son killed in shooting with signed team jersey

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (localmemphis.com) Wearing a University of Kentucky basketball jersey would have been a dream come true for 16-year-old Taylon Vail.

The teen was killed after bullets fired into his grandmother’s home. West Memphis Police don’t believe he was the intended target.

University of Kentucky basketball Coach John Calipari honored the teen’s family this past Mother’s Day with a signed team jersey with his last name on the back plus an acceptance letter with a scholarship offer.

I open a personalized jersey and autographed by John Calipari. A Kentucky jersey and I just immediately start crying, because Taylon wanted to play for John Calipari.

For Taylon’s mother it was an emotional moment.

I was going to do anything possible to ensure that he was able to achieve his dreams and it still came true, said Vail.

Taylon played as point guard at West Junior High School and had major hoop dreams for the NBA.

Last month, those dreams were cut short, in the safety of his grandmother’s home playing video games, bullets struck the home, killing him.

She was like Taylon has been shot and I immediately knew that it wasn’t good.

Police say he was not the intended target. his mother is still coming to grips with him being innocently shot.

He wasn’t a kid that asked to go out. He was a kid that stayed at home and played video games and that was what he did.

Now she’s leaning on her faith and the community.

It’s overpowering how much I think about him, said Vail. From the time I wake up to the time I sleep until the time I go to sleep.

Mrs. Vail says she plans to visit her son’s graveside this weekend.

Words cannot express how we feel, shared Vail. I feel empty, but I know God is doing something big.

West Memphis Police are and are still looking for the shooter in Taylon Vail’s murder investigation.  If you have any information call the department at 870-732-7555.

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