BRONXVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Family and friends said a final goodbye Wednesday to a rising basketball star from the Bronx.
They hugged and then they cried, the pain so unbearable some could hardly stand.
As they walked up to Hendricks’ casket to say their goodbyes, his coaches and friends wondered how a 17-year-old could die doing everything right.
“Personally, I want to say I’m sorry. I felt like I failed him and I’m sorry,” basketball coach Christopher Salgado said.
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Hendricks was a standout point guard in the Bronx with a big heart and infectious energy. He recently graduated from James Monroe High School and was planning to play ball at St. John’s University in the fall. On June 29, while attending a friend’s birthday barbecue, he was shot in the neck and died. He was not the intended target.
Police arrested 22-year-old Najhim Luke in connection with Hendricks’ death.
“We have to do better. We are killing each other,” teammate Surakata Jawara told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
Hendricks’ death comes at a time when violence is surging in New York City. The day he was killed, there were eight shootings with eight victims. The number of shootings for June was up 130% compared to last year.
The Rev. Al Sharpton called for action while delivering Hendricks’ eulogy.
“We hope that through his death he could inspire this community, inspire this city, inspire young people to live like he did,” basketball coach Nigel Thompson said.
Friends said his death already has.
“He’s just going to push me harder, even harder,” Jawara said.
As they sent off their friend, wearing the jersey bearing Hendricks’ number, promising to live like 5.