FOR A FEW minutes last night, Quahdir Devine was back, appearing larger than life on the North Philadelphia playground that was his second home.
The slain Ben Franklin High basketball star's life was chronicled in a slide show projected onto a screen in East Poplar Playground, on 8th Street near Brown.
A crowd of about 50 of Devine's relatives, classmates and neighbors huddled under an overpass, SEPTA trains thundering above as the presentation showed Devine as a cheerful baby, a smiling teen, and a determined player in a Franklin Electrons uniform.
"He was a gentle giant, that's the best way I can describe him," Tracey Devine said last night at the vigil held in her son's memory. "Everybody knew him: Kids keep coming up to us saying they want to 'dunk like Quack' [Devine's nickname] when they're older. When you see everybody here like this, it really hits you. This madness has to stop."