BY KENNY NGUYEN
Homicide Watch Chicago
Camerion Blair was just 5-feet tall, but his small stature didn’t stop him from dreaming of playing in the NBA, family said.
“He loved basketball and Derrick Rose,” said Camerion’s aunt, Lolita Blair. “He loved Derrick Rose so much that I told him I was going to kidnap Derrick and bring him to Camerion.”
Camerion, 16, won’t be able to watch Rose’s 2014 return to the hardwood after the teenager was fatally shot Sept. 30 in the 2600 block of East 73rd Street in the South Shore neighborhood, authorities said.
Lolita Blair said Camerion was on his way to return a video game when he was shot multiple times.
“Camerion gave me a kiss before he left,” Lolita Blair said. “He said ‘Titi, I’ll be right back,’ and fifteen minutes later a close neighbor knocked on my door and told me he was shot.”
Camerion was raised by his grandmother, Sharon Blair, and was a senior at Hyde Park High School, family said.
He was promoted a grade, and his grandmother believed staying away from gangs was part of Camerion’s success in his education.
“He was very smart and never failed in school,” said Sharon Blair. “He wanted all A’s, and if he got a B, he would get mad. He was even talking about going to a college in Kentucky to play basketball.”
Besides basketball and video games, Camerion’s family said the teen loved to be “loved.”
“He is a good, loving kid overall,” Lolita Blair said. “He wasn’t a disrespectful kid and didn’t start fights with anyone. He wanted to be loved and accepted. Everyone that met him just fell in love with him.”
Camerion’s family said they will most miss his kisses. Every time Camerion saw his aunt, grandmother or his cousin he would greet them with kisses on the cheek.
“He would kiss his grandma and me. That boy was 16-years-old and he still kissed everyone,” said Lolita Blair. “It’s hard to cope with this. He was 16, but if you looked at him, he looked like he was twelve. He wasn’t like my nephew. He was like my son, He was the baby of the family.”
Smith, 21, of the 7600 block of South Coles Avenue, is charged with first-degree murder, authorities said.
Lolita Blair said getting Smith off the streets is not going to do a thing because the neighborhood is “crime infested” and there’s a shooting everyday.
“Chicago is horrible, it breaks my heart when you’re 21-year-olds and you shot my baby,” said Lolita. “Camerion is never going to experience life again. He will never go to prom, graduate from high school, experience adulthood or have his own family.”
Smith will appear in court Oct. 23.