Indy teen credits basketball for persevering through her brother's 2018 murder, graduating high school early

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - George Washington High School senior copes with her brother's murder on the basketball court. TraNae Mann celebrated her Senior Night while still hoping someone comes forward in the death of her 19-year-old brother, Trevon Mann.

Police found Mann's frozen body, with gunshot wounds, inside an abandoned townhouse on the city's northeast side in January 2018. His murder shattered his family's world. But, TraNae made a promise to herself she would rise above her situation.

"Without basketball, I would be nothing right now," Mann said. "I would probably be on the streets, probably dead even."

The death of Mann changed TraNae's life and strengthened her to make positive choices. Now, she is graduating from high school a year early.

"The east side is full of crime, full of danger, anything like that," Mann said. "So I easily could have just gave up on everything and just get out, and do what I wanted to do, but instead I stayed on track and kept my head on straight."

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TraNae learned to live as other people her age learned to dribble. Her life lessons could help other people in similar situations.

"On my worst days what kept me strong is letting it out," Mann said. "Like, not holding in emotion. Don't be afraid to cry, don't be afraid, to scream, don't be afraid to do anything. Just let out your emotions but make sure it's in a positive way."

Even though life's challenges try to knock her out, she still takes her shots.

"If you just keep your head up, you'll make it through what you're going through," Mann encouraged.

As Mann's family watched her shine from the stands, there was another person cheering her on too.

"She calls me when she gets stuck when she needs a little lift, encouragement," Shonna Majors said.

Majors, who directs the city's community violence reduction team, is also Mann's mentor.

"She inspires me to continue to do the work that I do," Mann said.

The one-on-one mentor relationship is one which Majors knows all children benefit from. She encourages everyone to think about children in their lives whom they could get to know.

"Please, please give of yourself to that young person because you never know in what way you've touched them and changed their life, and the course of their life," Majors said.

Mann has already been accepted to colleges. But, she's not sure whether she will stay in-state or go away for school.

She joins police in hoping someone will call with a tip which leads to an arrest in her brother's case. If you know anything about that shooting, please call crime stoppers.

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