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Hundreds attend service to pay tribute to Oakland student who inspired Warriors

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An Oakland high school football player who was an inspiration for many Golden State Warriors stars died after a two-year battle with leukemia. And on Thursday, more than 1,000 paid tribute by attending the celebration of life for a young man who lived his to the fullest, until the very end. (KGO-TV)

An Oakland high school football player who was an inspiration for many Golden State Warriors stars died after a two-year battle with leukemia. And on Thursday, more than 1,000 paid tribute by attending the celebration of life for a young man who lived his life to the fullest, until the very end.


"We are all here brothers and sisters, because of a young man that lived," said Pastor A.L. Perkins of the Harmony Baptist Church to the hundreds who gathered at McClymonds High for a teen who graduated on the same stage just last month. "We're here because Darryl has shown us how to fight and how to be a warrior."

Darryl Aikens was just 18 when he died last week after a two year battle with leukemia.

He was a standout athlete, a football player, at McClymond's High School in West Oakland. But he was an even bigger star in life.

EXCLUSIVE: Oakland football player with leukemia inspires Warriors

"Not selling drugs, not on the corner, not in jail," said Perkins. "(He was) respectable, respecting his parents. That's worthy of a standing ovation."

It seemed Aikens had beaten his cancer after a bone marrow transplant, only to have it return last fall.

And even as he was given just days or weeks to live, Aikens persevered, even graduating with honors when he could barely walk.

RELATED: Oakland teen battling cancer graduates high school

"It's fitting that we're in a school today because Darryl was an educator," said Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks. "He taught us the importance of family, and bringing family together. He taught the importance of faith and having a faith that was unending."

In December, Aikens met his beloved Golden State Warriors and even got to hang out for a time with his idols -- Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.

At that time, Durant told us the teenager was an inspiration to him.

RELATED: Oakland teen with leukemia who inspired Warriors dies at 18

And though he is now gone, Aikens' legacy lives on, certainly with his family and close friends, but also with all of those he clearly touched in his young life.

As Destiny Perkins sang of him during his service: "I'm a conqueror, I'm victorious, I won't be stopped."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help his family with expenses.

Related Topics:
healthleukemiacancerGolden State Warriorsfootballmemorialstudentshigh schoolOakland
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