Bronx basketball phenom slain when shots fired at birthday party: reportjuin 30, 2020
The innocent Bronx basketball phenom gunned down Sunday night used his dying breaths to ask a friend to “call my mom,” one of his teammates told The Post Monday.
Brandon Hendricks, 17, was at a birthday party in Morris Heights with friends when shots rang out, pal Hammad Singleton said as he described his friend’s final moments.
“In the blink of an eye, me and my friends are running away,” Singleton, 18, said. “I turn around and he told me, ‘I got hit,’ and I just seen it.”
“I grabbed him and said we can’t stop right here because there’s more shots going off,” he said. “He stopped at the steps and we sat him down. He started wobbling. So, I sat him down. My friends took off his shirt and I’m holding that for him. I’m talking to him: ‘You’re good bro, you’re good?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m okay, I’m okay.’”
“He’s trying to smile. He’s trying to talk to me: ‘I’m good, I’m good,’” recalled Singleton, who goes by the nickname Bam. “He said, ‘Yo, Bam, I love you. Call my mom.’”
“He just closed his eyes,” Singleton said. “He didn’t say anything else after that. That was it.”
Hendricks, who graduated from James Monroe High School last week, was shot once in the neck around 11:50 p.m. Sunday at Davidson Avenue and 176th Street in the Bronx. He was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Monroe assistant coach Chris Salgado told The Post Hendricks initially was planning to attend prep school, but he had decided on going to junior college at West Hills College in California.
A full qualifier, he was only planning to spend one year there. He played for Monroe for three years after attending Fordham Prep as a freshman.
This past season, he averaged 12 points, six assists and two steals per game as the Eagles’ point guard.
“He was an athlete. He was a leader. He was charming. Everybody loved him,” Salgado said. “He was just a people’s person. That’s why it hurts so much, because he wasn’t a street kid.”
There was a candle-lighting vigil near his home in The Bronx on Monday that drew over 200 people and a similar remembrance is planned for Tuesday at Monroe, Salgado said.
Witnesses told police that Hendricks “had been engaged in a verbal dispute” before the shooting, sources said.
But Singleton said he was just a bystander.
“It really wasn’t meant for him,” he said. “Wrong place, wrong time. The people who were with me are all basketball players. Nothing to do with the streets.”
A standout student-athlete at the school, Hendricks was captain of the basketball team over the past two years, was weighing college options, his family said.
“He was a fierce competitor but also a very supportive guy,” James Monroe basketball coach Nigel Thompson said. “That is why you see all this outpouring of love and support.”
“It’s hard because you can’t bring him back,” Thompson said, lamenting how Hendricks had become a victim of the city’s growing gun-violence. “He had so much promise. It’s hard to deal with the senseless violence that plagues our streets.”