Family of well-known LR basketball player who died of a heart attack speaks out

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The family of Little Rock native and well-known basketball player is speaking out after he died this past weekend.

His death was sudden and now folks are paying tribute to him.

It’s a heartbreaking story, the family and friends we talked to say the 28-year-old Rakeem Dickerson’s talent and smile lit up the gym every time he was around and although he is gone, everyone wants to keep his inspiring and loving legacy alive.

“Rakeem, he was an amazing man. He was loved and cared by so many people in the community because of the type of man he was and how he inspired people with his positivity and his attitude,” said Rakeem’s girlfriend Marjorie Butler.

Loved ones sharing words to describe Rakeem and his impact in the Little Rock Community.

“He led so many people and we’re getting so much love. Just saying how he impacted their lives in that small amount of time that he was here,” said Princess Gupton, Rakeem’s cousin.

Dickerson played basketball for Arkansas State and was well known in the Little Rock basketball scene.

“The three things he loved most was God, basketball, and family and those three things loved him back,” said Gupton.

“He was a mentor, to so many people in the community, like one of his goals was to have his own basketball team to coach and we were fortunate enough to have a team that we coached last year together and to see the way those young men looked up to him and to see how they inspired them,” said Butler.

After college, Dickerson kept his hoop dreams alive. He crossed his way over from Central Missouri to Tuscaloosa and even played semi-pro in Africa.

“He conquered so many challenges in life, he was a king truly and there’s so many people that look up to him and there’s so many family members that loved him and cared for him,” said Butler.

He passed away on Sunday, his family says he had a heart attack after trying out for the Little Rock Lightning League.

On Facebook the team said he earned a spot on the roster and they’ll be honoring him next season.

“It’s truly been a tragedy what’s happened but at the same time, he’s a man who would want us to celebrate and be strong through these times,” said Butler.

And as the family tires to, they’ve started a Go-Fund Me to help.

“This was tragic for our family, it was very unexpected. I created one and the beneficiary is his mom so that she can pay back all of those doctor’s expenses because it was serious with the hospital and to help with his burial and memorial,” said Gupton.

The family says there will be a balloon release to honor Dickerson this weekend, his funeral services will be Monday. They are asking everyone to wear white because he loved his “Icy White”.

Below is a list of places he played basketball.

  • A.S.E. Amal Sportif Essaouira Essaouira, (Africa ) 
  • Tuscaloosa Titans
  • University Central MissouriArkansas State University 
  • Hall High SchoolJ. A. Fair High School
  • Cloverdale Middle
  • AAU: Arkansas Wings, Arkansas Mustangs, Arkansas Elite, Arkansas Rockets, Arkansas Lions
  • Semi-Pro: Tuscaloosa Titans (Alabama)
  • Colleges: University of Central Missouri Arkansas State University
  • High School: J. A. Fair High SchoolHall High School
  • Middle School: Cloverdale

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