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Palm Beach St. mourns loss of student athlete

Posted at 1:01 PM, Sep 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 13:01:17-04

LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- A campus is in grief, mourning the loss of a beloved college athlete.

Benetria Robinson, 19, a sophomore at Palm Beach State College, was shot and killed in a drive by outside a nightclub in her hometown of Ocala early Sunday morning.

"Nene," as her teammates called her, played basketball last season and was preparing to play softball this coming season. Monday night, both her teams met with a grief counselor to cope with this tragic loss. 

The pain is still fresh for the Palm Beach State College woman's basketball team.

"I don't think getting over it will come any time soon," said Kris Ruffo, who was Robinson's basketball coach last season.

Monday night was the first practice since the team learned about the death of  their teammate. 

"I didn't believe it. I think I had to hear it two or three times, and then I had the opportunity to speak to her dad. That's kind of what hit it," said Ruffo.

Robinson was recruited out of Ocala to play basketball for Palm Beach State. Her coaches say she was a determined player with lots of support.

"Her father came to every game. He was at every game we played last year. And we played thirty of them. She was a personality of the team," said Ruffo

And if conquering the court wasn't hard enough, Robinson decided this season softball would be her sport.

"She was so confident. It was as if she knew I was going to say yes because she had already committed to it," said Martha McCall, Robinson's softball coach at PBSC. "That's the way she was. That's the way she was on the field and the classroom. She had it together."

A promising young athlete's life was cut too short, leaving those she touched trying to come to grips with her death and how they'll move on.

"It's going to be a tough week. We'll get through it together and we're going to be there for her family in anyway that we can," said Ruffo.

Ruff said Robinson's father has asked that a few of her teammates help carry the casket at her funeral. 

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