Dribbling past

Marissa Rhimes, sophomore and KHS varsity point guard, said she feels unstoppable when she has a basketball in her hands.

Anna Newland

Marissa Rhimes, sophomore and KHS varsity point guard, said she feels unstoppable when she has a basketball in her hands.

Dribbling down the court, sporting “23” on her Kirkwood jersey, Marissa Rhimes, sophomore and KHS varsity point guard, said she feels unstoppable when she has a basketball in her hands. That feeling is due in large part to her cousin, LaRico Martin, or “Rico.” Rhimes said Rico went to her games so often that he would get mistaken for her dad. 

“He would be so loud at games, during the game [I] would think it was embarrassing,” Rhimes said. “But after [the game], [I] would think it’s OK, he’s just supporting me.”

When she isn’t on the court, she is usually babysitting Kashten, Rico’s son. Kashten reminds Rhimes of his father. She describes Kashten and Rico as always being attached at the hip. Rhimes said her cousin was always talkative around her and made her laugh a lot.

I didn’t think it was real. I felt like I was in a dream.”

— Marissa Rhimes

On Dec. 26, 2020, Rhimes saw on her phone that there was a shooting on Main Street in St. Charles, but she didn’t see any names so she didn’t think twice about it. 

The next morning, Rhimes found out Rico was the victim of the shooting.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Rhimes said. “Everybody was texting and calling, so I just turned my phone off. I didn’t think it was real. I felt like I was in a dream.”

Thirty-two-year-old Rico died Jan. 2, 2021. Rhimes added she was upset she couldn’t visit him during his time in the hospital because of COVID-19. She said her cousin’s abrupt death brought her family closer, and that she finds joy in babysitting 2-year-old Kashten whenever she can. She now keeps her cousin’s memory close with her at all times.

 “He would want me getting better at basketball and [having] good grades,” Rhimes said. “I can’t sit around and want everyone to hand me stuff because I’m sad. I still have to keep going.”