More than a decade after he was senselessly murdered, De La Salle football star Terrance Kelly’s memory lives on in a large way.
Last year, Sony Pictures released the film, When The Game Stands Tall, which depicts the tragedy of Aug. 12, 2004, when for unknown reasons a 15-year-old walked up to Kelly’s car in Richmond and shot him four times. The murder occurred just two days before Kelly was set to head to the University of Oregon on a football scholarship.
Just this past August, the book “A Stolen Life” by author Sam Herting was released in an effort to dig deeper into the lives of Terrance, his dedicated father Landrin and the foundation that formed in response to the loss of a promising life.
And then on Tuesday, KTVU anchor Frank Somerville paid tribute to Kelly in a touching post on his popular Facebook page.
“Just like that an incredibly promising career was gone,” Somerville wrote. “Terrance Kelly had worked very hard to stay away from gang life. And that’s why I wanted to share part of his Personal Circumstances Essay that helped get him accepted at Oregon.”
According to Somerville, who published Kelly’s entire letter, the young star wrote to the University of Oregon about the distractions connected to growing up in Richmond.
“Many people imagine the life of a teenager as being carefree and simple, but that is not the case in the city I live in,” he wrote.
He brought up the city’s trouble with crime and about a lack of focus on education among his peers.
“Many youth place more importance on being in a gang than an education,” Kelly wrote, later adding that doing homework can be challenging with the sounds of gunshots, ambulances and police cars “racing up and down the streets.”
“The library is just a shelter for the homeless and a baby-sitter for young children waiting until their parents get off work,” he wrote. “Through all of this I have established high expectations and standards for myself.”
He also wrote about his determination to not end up like many of his peers.
“I am motivated to strive to be the best person I can be, with the understanding that a solid education can lead to self-improvement as well as, social and economic empowerment,” he said.
Somerville responded to the letter by stating he will “always admire Terrance Kelly. His values. His discipline. His work ethic. His heart.”