Tributes paid to basketball coach ‘hero’ Ali Abucar Ali2 min read
A basketball coach who was stabbed to death in west London has been described as being “everyone’s favourite”.
Ali Abucar Ali, 20, died on Albany Parade, Brentford, on Friday within hours of coaching his last session at Chiswick Gators youth basketball club.
Mr Ali, a Kingston University student, had been at the club for five years.
Fellow coach Michael Kwentoh said: “There’s never been a person I’ve met in my life who has been more committed, caring and responsible than Ali.”
Mr Kwentoh, 40, a former junior international basketball player, founded the Gators in 2013 where he worked with Mr Ali.
He described the 20-year-old as being “everyone’s favourite coach”, adding that “if it wasn’t for Ali, we wouldn’t have a club”.
“He never turned his back on it. He was so dedicated to working with kids because he had the same passion,” he said.
“He took jobs working nights in a factory just so he could keep up the coaching.”
Mr Kwentoh described Mr Ali, who had British-Somali heritage and was studying business, as “one genuine soul”.
“You can’t find another person like him. The kids are all devastated, every single one of them,” he said.
He added that Mr Ali had hoped to become an accountant, saying he had been “doing everything the right way to set himself up for a bright future and it was senselessly taken away from him”.
A fundraising page set up to help Mr Ali’s family with funeral and memorial costs has reached more than £70,000.
Norris Henry, 37, appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with the murder of Mr Ali and the attempted murder of an 82-year-old woman who was also stabbed.
Mr Henry will next appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.
The 82-year-old woman remains in hospital following surgery.
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