Sebastian Telfair was on the cover of Sports Illustrated as an 18-year-old in 2004. Chris Ballard:
It’s hard to believe, too, that Telfair is, in many ways, still a kid. True, he might be miked during a basketball game and have his every move followed by a documentary film crew, but he still lives with his mother, Erica; his father, Otis; and three siblings in an apartment at the Surfside Gardens housing project in Brooklyn’s Coney Island. He’s still poor by most definitions (Otis is on veterans’ disability) and still uses the buy-one-ticket-and-pass-it-back ruse to get into movies with his friends. At school he goes to classes like the other kids, still waits eagerly for the bell to ring.
A few months later, Telfair became the first point guard to jump straight from high school to the NBA. Though he never became a star, he still stuck 11 years in the league (primarily with the Timberwolves, Trail Blazers and Suns).
The story has turned tragic since.
Last year, Telfair was convicted on a gun charge. This year, his mother and brother died after contracting coronavirus.
Erica Telfair, the mother of former NBA and Abraham Lincoln High School star Sebastian Telfair, died early Monday after battling the virus, although her official cause of death is unknown. She was 64.
Her passing comes after her son and Sebastian’s older brother, Dan Turner, died March 28 from COVID-19.
Our sympathies to Telfair and his family.