daily californian logo


Apply to The Daily Californian by September 8th!

Emeryville man who played basketball at RSF killed in Oakland

article image



We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

JUNE 16, 2013

A small crowd gathered outside the Recreational Sports Facility Friday evening to remember Aya Nakano, an avid participant in pick-up basketball games who was shot dead Wednesday night.

Nakano was on his way home to Emeryville after playing basketball at the RSF on Wednesday at about 11 p.m. when he was rear-ended on Stanford Avenue in North Oakland.

According to a statement released Thursday by Oakland Police Department, Nakano pulled over to exchange information with the other driver. Two suspects got out of the other car and appeared to have argued with Nakano before fatally shooting him and fleeing the scene. Nakano would have turned 23 years old at midnight.

Members who played basketball with Nakano at the RSF wrote personal messages on a poster before laying flowers in front of it as a memorial to a fierce competitor in a sport they all loved.

Jessica Gillotte, a UC Berkeley alumna, former Daily Californian employee, and basketball player at the RSF, said that players who participate in the impromptu games have developed a sense of camaraderie. Although she only saw Nakano at the gym, his death has had an effect on everyone who plays there.

“You see each other at the gym every day — it’s comforting to see the same people,” Gillotte said. “It is a community, and when you just lose someone from the community, it just resonates.”

UC Berkeley alumnus Ken Clampett remembered Nakano for his lighthearted demeanor.

“He always had a smile on his face,” Clampett said. “He had just graduated from college the last year.”

Nakano graduated in June 2012 from University of Oregon with a degree in sociology and a minor in communication studies.

Of Nakano’s skill on the court, Clampett said his lighthearted demeanor carried into basketball as well.

“He was always fun to play with — he wasn’t very big, but he was the quickest guy on the court,” Clampett said. “He was a good kid and didn’t deserve to have this to happen to him.”

Officer Johanna Watson, spokesperson for Oakland Police Department, said on Friday that the suspects in Nakano’s murder are still at large.

“About an hour before he was to celebrate his 23rd birthday, he was involved in a vehicle accident that unfortunately resulted in his death,” Watson said. “If anyone from the community has any information, so we can bring closure to the family and the community, please contact the Oakland Police Department.”

Watson also said Oakland Police Department is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for the arrest of the suspects. Nakano’s family is also offering a separate $5,000 reward.

Corrections: A previous of this article incorrectly stated that Nakano was murdered. In fact, he was shot dead and no suspects have been identified.
Contact Chase at [email protected]

JUNE 17, 2013

Related Articles

A car to car shooting occurred at 7th Street and Potter Street Wednesday night around 8:53 p.m.
A car to car shooting occurred at 7th Street and Potter Street Wednesday night around 8:53 p.m.
featured article
featured article