Friends Remember Shannon Washington’s Comical Spirit

Memories of Shannon Washington’s animated personality and remarkable talent are all her classmates, coaches and teammates have left of her. They remember Washington, the slain Florida A&M women’s basketball player, as a strong and passionate person.

“Shannon had the tenacity to get things done,” Ledawn Gibson, head coach of the women’s basketball team, said. “She was always the clown of the meeting. She had a great personality.”

Her leadership quality made her popular amongst her teammates. Today, the 5’11 basketball star would have turned 21.

She was murdered during her first week to “The Hill” as a transfer student from Illinois Valley Community College. On September 4, 2011, Washington was pronounced dead at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital from a stab wound to the neck. Her significant other, Starquineshia Palmer, 21, did not attempt to flee the scene nor did she deny killing Washington. This morning, Palmer will appear in court to update the city on her case.

Washington’s accolades outshine her untimely death. She is well-known to fans and basketball players on the collegiate level across the nation.

Washington is a 2009 graduate of Riverview High school in Sarasota, Fl. She left her legacy with a record of 1,000 points during her high school basketball career. Throughout her time at Illinois Valley Community College, she became a two-time junior college All-American. She is a two-time, 1st team all-conference player and honoree of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.

According to her roster, which is still posted on FAMU’s Athletics website, Washington averaged 19 points, nine rebounds, five steals and five assists per game.

Gibson met Washington at a teen basketball camp. Gibson was a high school coach at the time. “I met Shannon when she was 12 or 13 years old,” Gibson said. “She has always worked hard. That was her on and off the court. I have never heard her speak negative about anybody or anything.”

The Lady Rattlers remembers their fallen teammate by ending their huddles with “2-4,” which was Washington’s number. They are planning to raise funds to get Washington’s number embroiled on their jerseys.

Freshman guard/center Jamie Foreman said her leadership skills separated her from the team.

“She was a great leader because she was easy to get along with,” Foreman said. “My first impression of her was that she was really cool and laid back.”