NEW HOPE, Minn. - Before Douglas McArthur McCain became the latest American to be called a homegrown terrorist, he was better known as Doug, the jokester who loved to play basketball in New Hope, MN.
"When I first moved here, I didn't know anyone, so I went to the park and I would see him and his brother and a bunch of other people playing basketball," recalled 28-year-old Isaac Chase.
"[McCain] asked me if I wanted to play so I started playing basketball with him. We just hung out pretty much from 10 in the morning all the way to nighttime," remembered Chase. "He was an older guy that I looked up to, he was actually a good dude," said Chase.
The 33-year-old McCain attended Robbinsdale Cooper High School in New Hope, as part of the class of 1999, according to NBC News.
On Wednesday Chase became aware of the news that his childhood friend was killed over the weekend, fighting alongside ISIS militants in Syria.
"It don't make no sense. The 'Doug' I know is a good person. I wouldn't even think that he would do anything like that," said Chase, who added the two lost touch around 2008.
It was around that period when Chase joined the Air Force. In their last conversation, McCain "said he was proud of me for being in the military. That I'm doing something with myself," said Chase.
Chase said he was not aware that McCain had traveled to the Middle East or that he had any connection to ISIS.
"That's what hurts the most because he was a good person," said Chase. "I don't know what he was thinking when he did this."