A Castlemont High School senior who was fatally shot in front of his East Oakland home near the school Sunday night was set to graduate in six weeks and was looking forward to going to his prom on Saturday, the school’s principal said today. Olajuwon Clayborn, 17, had “worked hard to graduate” thanks to strong encouragement from his mother, Castlemont principal John Lynch said.
Clayborn played on Castlemont’s basketball team and “worked hard on the court and off the court in the classroom,” Lynch said. Clayborn was his mother’s youngest child and she emphasized to him how important it was to his future that he graduate, Lynch said. She had just met with school personnel on Friday to make sure that he was on track to graduate and to make sure he would finish up his senior projects on time, he said.
In addition, Clayborn’s mother had bought him clothes for his senior prom and a cap and gown for his graduation ceremony, Lynch said. Clayborn’s death consequently has been “crushing” for her, he said. Oakland police said the shooting occurred in the 8600 block of Dowling Street at about 10 p.m. Sunday. They said a second male was also shot but is expected to survive.
Lynch said Clayborn’s home is only half a block away from Castlemont, which is located at 8601 MacArthur Blvd. Grief counselors have been available at the school to help them cope with Clayborn’s death, he said. Oakland school district spokesman Troy Flint said staff members at Castlemont described him as “extremely well-liked and a popular and beloved student.” Flint said Clayborn previously attended Berkeley High School and transferred to Castlemont at the beginning of the current school year last August.
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