ARIZONA NEWS

Preston Lord’s basketball coach honors his student’s memory

Jan 6, 2024, 7:15 AM | Updated: Mar 12, 2024, 10:14 am

PHOENIX — There’s one thing missing from the conversation around 16-year-old Preston Lord’s death, according to the head basketball coach at the school he went to.

“So much is focused on the assailants, the ones who are responsible,” Hosea Graham, who coaches basketball at Combs High School, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show Friday. “But no one’s really talking about who Preston really was and what we’ve lost. We’ve lost so much.”

Officials said Lord died after being assaulted by a gang of violent teenagers at a Halloween party in October 2023. The assault may be connected to an affluent gang of violent teenagers known as the “Gilbert Goons.” One East Valley mother said these blitz-style attacks have been terrorizing teens and families in the area for over a year.

As police and the public anticipate the next update in the case, Graham wants people to reflect on what a wonderful person Lord was.

Head basketball coach says Preston Lord is loved and missed

“This young man was a 4.0 student. He was loved and his friendship was cherished by not just only the people on my basketball team, but there were friends throughout the school that really struggled with the loss of him from their lives,” Graham said.

He found out about what happened to Lord when a distraught student called him with the news of the assault. Graham was shocked and traveled to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital to pray for his recovery.

Lord was a leader and a positive influence with his whole life ahead of him, Graham said.

“From my perspective, being around him and coaching him, he was one of those kids where you just knew he was going to become some type of valuable leader in the future and have so much to input into the world and we lost that,” Graham said.

The Combs High School basketball team started a tradition to honor Lord, who wore jersey No. 5. Before each game, Lord’s best friend puts a No. 5 jersey on a chair on the side of the basketball court.

“As kids come into the game and come out of the game, everybody pats that chair, everybody pats that number,” Graham said. “It’s a way of them recognizing that Preston is still with them.”

Where is the Preston Lord case now?

After Lord’s death, both the Queen Creek Police Department and the Gilbert Police Department announced they were investigating the murder.

Queen Creek PD identified seven suspects and wants to press charges, but it will have to wait for approval from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to proceed. That may take a while, as Attorney Rachel Mitchell said her office has thousands of files to sift through.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Scottsdale Quarter water fountain...

Payne Moses

15-year celebration: Scottsdale Quarter undergoing major facelift, adding several tenants

Scottsdale Quarter is ringing in its 15th anniversary with major property redevelopment and the addition of several tenants, the shopping center announced Thursday.

11 minutes ago

Burning building...

KTAR.com

Arizona man guilty of arson and hate crimes for burning two churches in May 2023

A 58-year-old man was declared guilty of all six arson and hate crimes for the burning of two Douglas churches on May 22, 2023, authorities said Thursday.

10 hours ago

A 19-year-old died and another man was hospitalized after a shooting at an apartment complex in Ahw...

KTAR.com

Suspect sought in Ahwatukee shooting that killed 19-year-old, injured another

One man died and another was hospitalized after a shooting in Ahwatukee early Friday morning, the Phoenix Police Department said.

10 hours ago

This image, made from a video provided by Arizona's Family, shows damage caused by the Watch Fire o...

Associated Press

California reports 1st wildfire death of the 2024 season as fires persist across the West

Wildfires fueled by strong winds and an extended heat wave have led to the first death in California of the 2024 season.

11 hours ago

Marana Police vehicle...

KTAR.com

Arizona father arrested, charged in hot car death of 2-year-old daughter at own residence

A 2-year-old girl was pronounced dead Tuesday after she was left in a car at a Marana residence, officials said in a Friday press release.

15 hours ago

An overhead view shows firefighters battling flames at an apartment complex in Mesa....

KTAR.com

Firefighters from Mesa, Tempe team up to battle apartment complex blaze

Firefighting crews from two cities combined forces Friday to take on an Mesa apartment fire, authorities said.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Preston Lord’s basketball coach honors his student’s memory