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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Keilon Fortune Missing
From Kilpatrick--(May 18, 2001)

KEILON_FORTUNE.jpg (16015 bytes)We were both shocked and saddened to read this morning's LA Times story written by Mike Bresnahan about Kielon Fortune (6'-1" Sr. PG) who spent this past season playing for Camp Kilpatrick a juvenile detention facility.  According to the story, Kielon has been missing from Kilpatrick for the past month, and as a result faces additional charges for escaping from a penal facility.   The details are a bit sketchy, but here's the gist of it:

Kielon was played last month in an all-star game in Long Beach. He told a Kilpatrick official that he was going into the locker room after the game to change his clothes.  He hasn't been seen or heard from since.

Here's the text of the article, which can also be found on the LA Times' website at this link:

Kilpatrick Star Goes AWOL

Keilon Fortune, the Southern Section Division V basketball co-player of the year, is being sought by authorities after failing to return to Camp Kilpatrick juvenile detention center following an all-star game, an L.A. County Probation Dept. source said.  Fortune, a senior who averaged 34.3 points and led Kilpatrick (27-3) to a school record for victories, told a Kilpatrick official he was going to change his clothes in the locker room after the all-star game in Long Beach last month and did not return.

Fortune had been detained since July at Kilpatrick, an L.A. County probation camp in Malibu, after his arrest for having an unregistered firearm in a car.  Fortune played at basketball powerhouse Compton Dominguez before being sent to Kilpatrick, which offers varsity sports and is considered a second chance for juvenile offenders. He was expected to be released this summer. 

A Kilpatrick source said Fortune "got scared about something and just ran. Now he could go to [California] Youth Authority for four to five years. The longer it gets, the worse it will be." 

Fortune was scheduled to play in an all-star game June 8 in Woodland Hills, but Kilpatrick officials told organizers Fortune would not participate because he failed to return after the Long Beach game.  Margaret Billingsley, director at Camp Kilpatrick, declined comment because Fortune is a minor.

The more we read about Keilon off the court, the more it makes us all realize just how sad and troubled this young man's life really is. Unfortunately for Keilon, whatever chance he may have had to attend college, even a junior college, appears to be fading fast.  And there are not many pro organizations, not even the NBA, who would hire a fugitive (a felon, maybe, but not a fugitive).

Keilon, if you're out there reading this, pay attention:   Come back, turn yourself in and finish out your stint in Malibu. It's time to get your act together if you want a chance at a decent life.  It's not too late.   You know what we're saying is true, so do the right thing while there's still time.

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