Noah Donahoe was a talented young man who was loved by everyone who knew him, his former basketball coach has said.
Michael Calo said the teenager’s death had “devastated” those he grew up with.
A body believed to be that of the missing Belfast teenager was found in a storm drain on Saturday, almost a week after he was last seen near the Shore Road in north Belfast.
Basketball coach Michael Calo said the 14-year-old was a gifted musician and athlete.
“Noah was just such a nice young man, everybody loved him,” he said.
“He was a lovely kid, a good athlete, a good musician, quite good at the cello, and just a really lovely young person.”
Mr Calo’s twin sons, classmates of Noah’s at St Malachy’s College, played rugby and basketball and sang in the school choir with him.
“They are devastated, like most of the kids Noah would have grown up with,” he said.
He coached Noah when he played for Belfast Phoenix Basketball team.
A memorial basketball tournament in Noah’s memory is now being discussed, Mr Calo said.
“It would be something that could develop some money for charity, and I think that would be a nice memory to have of Noah,” he added.
His family said: “He was very special. It is very hard to do justice or honour the extraordinary relationship Noah and his mummy shared.”
Their statement added: “In his 14 years his mummy got so much from their special bond, he taught his mummy so much. They were each other’s world.”
The family said details of Noah’s funeral will follow.
Also on Sunday, hundreds of people, including members of Noah’s family and many of the volunteers who took part in searches, attended vigils for the teenager.
Sean McCarry, from Community Search and Rescue, told the BBC on Monday he had never experienced anything like it before.
“It was one of the most moving and humbling experiences that I have had,” he said.
“We were welcomed to the services, as Noah’s family was, exactly as we were welcomed in throughout the five or six days of the search, with open arms from everybody”.
“It was obvious to see that everybody there was there united together, completely united right across the whole of north Belfast”.
Pastor Brian Madden, who spoke at a vigil, urged Noah’s teenage friends to “let their emotions out”.
“Don’t bottle it up, don’t hold it in, talk to someone, and be real, let it out, someone will listen to you,” he told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme.
Pastor Madden said the vigil had allowed a grieving community to come together and to pay their respects.
“Every single person that knew him spoke so very highly of this young man. It was incredible,” he said.
Police said on Saturday that they did not believe there was any foul play involved in the death.