Emotion fills gym as Templeton High basketball player Shelby Sudbrink honored

Michael Sudbrink sat on the sidelines Tuesday night with his youngest daughter, Kiley. As they waited for the girls varsity basketball game to start, Michael stroked Kiley’s hair, kissed her forehead and held her close.

Kiley, 7, a spitting image of her older sister Shelby when she was that age, wore a Templeton High School basketball jersey with a No. 12 — her sister’s number. Kiley and her father were preparing for a moment neither had ever imagined.

The gym was packed, and everyone taking shelter on the rainy night knew the Sudbrinks’ tragic story. Four days earlier, 17-year-old Shelby Sudbrink of Atascadero died suddenly when her Toyota 4Runner slammed into a tree on Templeton Road.

To honor her, the crowd in the stands Tuesday set aside their Templeton green and wore blue, Shelby’s favorite color. It was a continuation of the support shown in the days following her death. More than $37,000 has already been donated to the family to cover funeral costs.

The tributes kept coming, and they filled every inch of the gym with emotion.