By Lemor Abrams

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Religious leaders and city officials joined family and friends at Grant Union High School to remember an energetic young football player they knew as JJ.

They gathered off Grand Avenue in Sacramento Saturday evening, not far from where the 17-year-old was shot on his way to a football game Friday night.

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Friends of Jaulon Clavo say this community is determined to keep JJ’s memory alive.

Clavo’s senior pictures glowed against a sea of burning candles. In the large crowd, Clavo’s mom stood strong with the community.

“I should not outlive my child,” Dr. Nicole Clavo said. “All these kids out here, they’re all my children. They’re hurting. These kids are hurting.”

Dr. Clavo said son Jaulon was shot in a senseless crime. But her way of coping is to encourage a message that no one can argue with, that “all kids’ lives matter.”

“This is unprecedented when athletes are starting to become targets,” said community member Mervin Brookins. “It’s not just limited to the people you think are involved. If this is the new trend, then lord help us all.”

With officers from Sacramento Police Department’s gang unit on guard in the background, Jaulon’s friends comforted one another.

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The kid they knew as JJ had aspirations to go to college and to live a hard-working life – nothing outside of that, they say.

“He wasn’t with the gang violence. He wasn’t with violence period,” said Alexis Wooten, Jaulon’s friend.

Police say it’s still unclear whether Jaulon, or his friend who was also injured in the shooting, was targeted.

For now, city officials are showing their support.

“We want to make sure that Del Paso Heights knows that every corner of Sacramento is here to support you. It happened here this time, we need it to end,” said Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby.

In a show of support that was at first anonymous, Sacramento Kings player DeMarcus Cousins said that he would pay for Jaulon’s funeral expenses. Cousins personally called the family to offer his help.

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The game that was cancelled Friday night following the shooting is rescheduled for Monday. JJ’s friends say he would want his team to win, for him.