Bronx basketball phenomenon killed when shot at birthday party: report

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The innocent Bronx basketball phenomenon shot Sunday night used his last breath to ask a friend to "call my mother," one of his teammates told The Post on Monday.

Brandon Hendricks, 17, was at a birthday party in Morris Heights with friends when the shots rang out, his friend Hammad Singleton said as he described his friend's last moments.

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"In the blink of an eye, my friends and I ran away," said Singleton, 18. "I turn around and he said, 'I was hit,' and I just saw him."

"I grabbed him and told him we can't stop here because there are more shots fired," he said. “He stopped on the steps and we sat him down. He began to falter. So, I sat him down. My friends took off his shirt and I'm holding it for him. I'm talking to him: "You are a good brother, are you good?" He says, "Yes, I'm fine, I'm fine."

"He's trying to smile. He's trying to talk to me:" I'm fine, I'm fine, "recalled Singleton, who goes by the nickname Bam." He said, "I, Bam, I love you. Call my mother. & # 39; "

"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 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.

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Monroe's assistant coach Chris Salgado told The Post that Hendricks initially planned to attend high school, but that he had decided to go to high school at West Hills College in California.

A full qualifier, he only planned to spend a year there. He played for Monroe for three years after attending Fordham Prep as a freshman.

Last 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. Everyone loved him, ”said Salgado. “He was just a person of people. So it hurts so much, because he was not a street child. "

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There was a candlelight vigil near her Bronx home on Monday that drew more than 200 people and a similar memory is planned for Tuesday in Monroe, Salgado said.

Witnesses told police that Hendricks "had been involved in a verbal dispute" prior to the shooting, the sources said.

But Singleton said he was just a spectator.

"It really wasn't for him," he said. "Wrong place, bad time. The people who were with me are all basketball players. Nothing to do with the streets.

Hendricks, a prominent student athlete at the school, has been the captain of the basketball team for the past two years and was weighing college options, his family said.

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"He was a fierce competitor but also a very supportive guy," said basketball coach James Monroe, Nigel Thompson. "That is why you see all this torrent of love and support."

"It's difficult because you can't bring him back," said Thompson, regretting how Hendricks had become a victim of the city's increasing gun violence. "He had a lot of promise. It is difficult to deal with the senseless violence that plagues our streets. "

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