EVANSTON, IL — Former Evanston Township High School basketball player Ryan Bost was fatally shot Monday in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, authorities said.
Bost, 20, was sitting in the back seat of a parked car in the 6700 block of North Newgard Avenue when a man walked up and — after an “exchange of words” — began shooting, according to Chicago police.
One bullet struck Bost in the chest shortly before 6:16 p.m., and friends rushed him to St. Francis Hospital, where was pronounced dead shortly before 7 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Several Evanston aldermen offered their condolences and prayers to his family at Monday night’s City Council meeting. In a social media post Tuesday morning, ETHS athletic department staff said Bost would never be forgotten.
“We wake up with heavy hearts as we mourn the loss of Ryan Bost,” they said. “Ryan brought pride to our school through his fierce defense on the court, but more importantly, he brought joy and loyalty to his friends and family off the court. He will forever hold a special place in our hearts.”
Bost was a starting guard for three years, helping to lead the Wildkits to consecutive IHSA Class 4A Final Four appearances in his junior and senior year, including the team’s first appearance in a state championship game since 1984. He and two fellow starters set an all-time team record for wins in their high school career, tallying 100 victories over four years.
Before graduating last year, Bost received a scholarship to Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut, which he was attending remotely due to the coronavirus.
Jason Davis coached Bost for several years before and during high school on Illinois Future, a travelling Amateur Athletic Union team. During Bost’s seventh-grade year, he helped take the team to a 2nd place national finish, earning the club entry into Adidas’ prestigious circuit, Davis recalled.
“He was an awesome kid — always smiling, always trying to make people happy, cared about everybody. He always had a cool head,” Davis said. “No situation was too big for him. He was a natural-born leader, and he was very successful at it, as you can see by the accomplishments he’s had throughout his life.”
Bost’s grandfather Bob Bost was a longtime ETHS basketball coach and assistant principal at Haven Middle School until the year before his death in 2012. His father also played on the team in the 1980s.
In fact, every Evanston basketball team to ever reach the state championship has so far featured a Bost in its starting lineup, Davis noted. Bost’s younger brother, a junior, is a current member of the Wildkit basketball team.
Coach Mike Ellis described Ryan Bost as a calming influence who always put others before himself. When Bost spoke, Ellis told the Chicago Sun-Times, he commanded the attention of his teammates.
“It’s challenging right now to try and make sure all the kids are OK,” Ellisthe Sun-Times. “If we had in-school learning we’d be meeting and just able to be with one another and talk. We are going to do a Zoom meeting to try to bring everybody together but a Zoom meeting doesn’t have the same influence it would in person.”
Representatives of the local activist group Evanston Fight for Black Lives, founded earlier this year by a group of recent ETHS graduates, also offered condolences on social media to Bost’s family and friends.
“Many of us knew him as a kind, caring and considerate soul,” group members said. “He will always be remembered for his involvement as a star player on the ETHS basketball team, as well as a loving member of our Evanston community.”
Detectives are investigating Bost’s death, but no one was in custody in connection with his shooting as of Tuesday.
According to Chicago police, Bost is the 10th person murdered in 2020 in the 24th District, which includes Rogers Park and saw only five murders in all of last year. The district has also seen 43 shootings this year, more than twice as many as at this point in 2019.
An online fundraiser was established Tuesday by Rudy Meo, senior accountant at Evanston Township High School District 202 and a coach for the ETHS boys basketball team.
“For those who knew Ryan, he was loyal, quiet, humble, and a silent leader who inspired so many,” according to an accompanying note. “Ryan was and will forever be an invaluable member of the Evanston Community and will never be forgotten. “
This article originally appeared on the Evanston Patch