Basketball Recruiter Killed In Goose Island Hit-And-Run
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CHICAGO (STMW) – Police on Friday continue to look for the car that struck and killed an admired south suburban basketball recruiter early Thursday on Goose Island.
Billy Taylor, 40, of Hazel Crest, was struck by a hit-and-run driver about 4:20 a.m. Thursday in the 1000 block of West Division Street.
The vehicle, described as a 2010-13 black or dark-colored four-door Hyundai Sonata — possibly with front end damage — was westbound when it struck Taylor, dragging his body nearly 1,000 feet.
An autopsy on Friday found he died of multiple injuries from an automobile striking a pedestrian, and his death was ruled an accident, according to the Cook County Medical Examimer’s office.
Taylor had a unique knowledge of the sport at all levels in Chicago, friends said.
“Kids really respected him because he could envision a career path for a player,” said friend and NBA agent Mike Naiditch.
“Billy went way back to the Kevin Garnett times, and that’s kind of how he made him mark, he was like a street recruiter who tried to recruit players for agents,” said Naiditch. “All the NBA guys know Billy, and they’d try to reach into his mind. … Some teams would use him for scouting.”
“If you want to get into Chicago basketball, you’ve got to get to know Billy Taylor, because he knows everybody,” said sports agent John Spencer. “People may have thought, ‘He’s just a street guy,’ but he really cared about these kids.”
Taylor was a staple in the Chicago basketball scene for years. “He had such a passion for the game,” said Naiditch. “He just knows basketball, he knows everyone, he thought basketball all day long.”
No one was in custody as of late Friday afternoon.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)