NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Manor High School community celebrated 2022 graduates at Chartway Arena on Saturday morning. That includes the life of a star athlete that didn’t make it to graduation.
Police say Amarion Collins died after he was shot along Cherokee Road while leaving a parking lot at Manor High School on the afternoon of January 19. Collins played football and basketball at the school.
On Saturday morning, his mom walked across the stage during graduation and embraced several Portsmouth Public Schools officials. She was greeted by Superintendent Dr. Elie Bracy III, School Board Vice-Chairwoman LaKeesha ‘Klu’ Atkinson and Manor High School Principal Dr. Timothy Johnson.
Latrice Collins tells 10 On Your Side that the community is helping her stay strong through the difficult time.
“It’s bittersweet and it is hard, but I’m making it,” said Collins
Amarion’s classmates also made sure to honor his life during the graduation ceremony.
“In Amarion’s honor, I have been awarded a scholarship which will help fund my advancement for a wonderful college opportunity,” said Asiyah Clifton, the school’s valedictorian. “For this, I am truly grateful.”
Previously, Portsmouth School Board Vice-Chair Lakeesha Atkinson presented Amarion Collins’ mother with a plaque designating Feb. 15 as Amarion Collins Day at Manor High School.
School officials also gathered for a vigil days after he was fatally shot.
At that time, Manor High School Principal Dr. Timothy E. Johnson, and Manor High varsity football coach Jelani Fair both spoke about Collins’ talent on the court as well as a student in the hallways.
“Everything I asked him to do, he did it naturally well. I couldn’t stop ranting and raving about him,” Fair said. “He was a perfect mix of aggressive, but also as respectful I’ve ever seen a kid.”
His mom also said that night “he didn’t deserve what happened.”
Fast forward to June, several Manor High students said getting to graduation wasn’t easy.
Roy Lawrence, the senior class president, said the class “all had some dark days.” That includes “losing Amarion.”
Amarion’s coaches and teachers made it possible for his mom to receive her son’s diploma.
“It’s priceless. I am so happy that I can walk the stage for my son,” his mom added. “I wish he could be here to see it.”
She will keep her son’s name alive, adding “my baby’s not here to see this but I feel him.”
Three teens were arrested and charged in connection to Amarion’s death.
WAVY.com is working on getting updates on the case.