NBA star vows to help orphaned boy

Miami Heat centre, Jamaal Magloire, has pledged to help a Toronto boy whose mom was murdered...

Miami Heat centre, Jamaal Magloire, has pledged to help a Toronto boy whose mom was murdered recently. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency File Photo)

CHRIS DOUCETTE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:01 PM ET

TORONTO - NBA star Jamaal Magloire is vowing to help an orphaned seven-year-old boy whose mom was murdered in their west-end home a week ago.

The Miami Heat centre, who hails from Toronto, heard about Lucita Charles' slaying last Monday and decided immediately that he would do whatever was needed.

"This tragic story really touched me, she was a single mom with a special-needs son," Magloire told QMI Agency, shortly after arriving in his hometown Saturday night.

Magloire, who plans to spend the off-season in Toronto, said he has already spoken to the victim's sister and offered to help in any way that he can.

It's too soon to say exactly what help he will provide, but he'll gladly pay for the woman's funeral "if needed," he said.

One thing he plans to do for certain is set up a trust fund, to which he will make the first donation, for Charles' disabled son, Mataeo.

The boy's mom was found dead last Monday in her apartment on Harding Ave., near Jane St. and Lawrence Ave.

Her boyfriend, Patrick Barrett, 39, has been charged with second-degree murder.

Magloire, who plans to meet the orphaned boy now that he's back in town, stressed he is not offering to help to get publicity for himself.

"I'm a man of few words, I like to lead by example," the 10-year veteran professional basketball player said.

Magloire has also been touched by violence himself.

In 2001, his half-brother Justin Sheppard was gunned down in Toronto at 19.

In the wake of his death, Justin's mom, Audette Sheppard, somehow found the strength to form UMOVE (United Mothers Opposing Violence Everywhere), a group that has since helped many other moms survive similar tragedies.

Following Audette Sheppard's example, Magloire has also done his part to give back to the community by working with youth both here in Toronto and south of the border.

"These are the kinds of things we as professional athletes should be doing because people look up to us," he said.

chris.doucette@sunmedia.ca


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