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Published on Mar 17, 2012
Phillip "Tookie" Stanford was the only son in a family of four. By the time he was 7 years old, he had lost his sister and father to violence and his mother to cancer. The Lonsdale community in Knoxville, Tenn., saw Tookie as their own and wanted to see him succeed.
He was a rising basketball star. While at West High School, Tookie received several accolades for his athletic achievements.
The loss of his family was something he struggled with daily. As his aunt, Nikki Daniels, said, "It was a child's question that never was answered."