Grandmother of Sonics assistant killed in Philly

Updated: March 10, 2006, 11:15 PM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Ralph Lewis, an assistant coach for the Seattle SuperSonics, remained with the team for Friday night's game against Minnesota while police in Philadelphia continued the investigation into the death of his grandmother.

Katherine Smullen, 82, the maternal grandmother of Lewis, was discovered in her home by a caretaker on Thursday morning. Police said she had multiple wounds to the chest and throat, and there were items missing from her home.

Before Friday's game, Lewis said his mother, who had been visiting him in Seattle, flew to Philadelphia and identified the body.

"It's tough. You're sort of in shock," Lewis said. "I just can't get over the fact, whether it's my grandmother or not, but the respect of our elders, just to brutally do that."

Lewis, in his first year with the Sonics and a native of Philadelphia, plans to remain with the team until funeral arrangements are finalized.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press