Basketball game held in memory of Manyok Akol, 18, who died in downtown shooting

A fundraiser basketball game was held Saturday to help support the family of 18-year-old Manyok Akol who was shot and killed earlier this month. 

Organizers say they wanted to help community heal, prevent another tragedy

A screenshot of Manyok Akol, 18, taken from his music video "Rainy Days." Akol was an aspiring hip-hop artist. (Manyok Akol/YouTube)

A fundraiser basketball game brought a community together Saturday to help support the family of an 18-year-old man who was shot and killed earlier this month. 

Manyok Akol was gunned down in his sleep on Jan. 8. He was with friends at a Gilmour Street Airbnb when intruders broke in around 7:30 a.m. and started firing. Three other people were shot, including a 15-year-old boy. 

Akol, who was a recording artist, also went by the name FTG Metro. 

The Ball 4 Metro event at La Cité was organized by Prezdential Basketball and The House Podcast, which is about the Ottawa neighbourhood where Akol grew up — Britannia Woods. People packed the bleachers in the gym. Many wore t-shirts with a picture of Akol and the word "Metroworld" written on them.

A moment of silence for Akol was also held before the game.

Manock Lual, left, and Jean-Jacques Ngandu, right, helped organize the fundraiser basketball game Saturday. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

"We're just providing an opportunity for as [many] people as possible to get into one location and heal," said Manock Lual with Prezdential Basketball, a training company that also does social outreach work. 

"When tragic things happen, you don't have the opportunity right away to express yourself. So this is an opportunity for everybody that has been affected by the situation to come here today and just express themselves through healing and through unity," said Lual. 

He's the type of young man that wouldn't want people to sit around and cry, he wants people to keep going.— Athiep Lual, Akol's cousin

Lual said he wants Akol's family to know the community is prepared to help.

"When this happened, I wanted to do something…we felt like we couldn't sit back," said Lual who has also worked with Akol's brother. 

"I think that he was a powerful soul for sure." 

Akol's cousin Athiep Lual says it was amazing to see such a large turnout at the event. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

'Amazing' turnout

"He was the type of person that made everyone smile. If he was around you, he'd make you laugh and he was always encouraging other people to strive harder, work harder, be the best that they could be," said Athiep Lual, Akol's cousin.

She believes the basketball game was something Akol would have appreciated, bringing people together around sports.

She was also happy to see the "amazing" turnout for the fundraiser and said she hopes Akol's legacy carries on.

The gym at La Cité was packed for the basketball game in memory of Akol. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

"He's the type of young man that wouldn't want people to sit around and cry. He wants people to keep going," she said.

"It's been hard, but we know he's here. We know he's watching."


Krystalle Ramlakhan is a multi-platform journalist with CBC Ottawa. She has also worked for CBC in P.E.I., Winnipeg and Iqaluit.