LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — For the Sanchez brothers from Bellflower High School in California, coming to Las Vegas brings a rush of emotion.
Gil Sanchez, a senior shortstop for the Bellflower baseball team said, "It's pretty tough, but it's nice coming back in her honor, there's a little purpose here. The emotions are bigger here than it is back at home."
"I haven't been here since it happened," said Gavin Sanchez. "It feels good to play for a team that allows us to represent Chrissy."
For these brothers, playing in Las Vegas also means honoring their cousin Christiana Duarte, who died in the 1 October tragedy almost five years ago.
Their cousin was well known for her fun-loving personality and artistic talents.
"She was really cool. She was a country singer, so when I hear country songs I think of her a lot. She was always really happy," Gil said. "She's a really big part of me, I got a glove in her name, so I've got her color with her initials on the side of it."
For the Sanchez brothers, they also had a unique way of remembering Chrissy.
"We made this kindness [lanyard] for Chrissy," Gavin said.
"At every bat, I write a 'C' on the dirt," Gil said. "That's how I kind of think of her, I know she's there for me. She shows signs that she's always here for me, too."
The brothers say their cousin was always compassionate and inspired the lives of many.
Gavin said, "this is her wristband that they handed out on her funeral, it says, '#Christiana Strong'."
The family also added that a foundation for Chrissy in her name will be launched in the near future with the goal of spreading kindness.
The players also wore special patches for another teammate who lost his mother.