‘Wanted to make his mother proud.’ – Basketball tournament honors Bronx teen fatally shot just after graduation
A basketball tournament was held in the Bronx in honor of 17-year-old Brandon Hendricks more than a year after he was fatally shot.
Organizers named the event “The Mother’s Love Tournament” and took time to specifically honor Brandon’s mother, Eve Hendricks.
Eve says it was a tough day as she was surrounded by reminders of her late son.
“I wish he was here. I’m looking at everyone here, looking as life goes by, kids are playing, doing things that he loves, and it does hurt,” Eve says. “At the same time, I’m happy that he's loved and will always be remembered."
Players at the tournament wore jerseys with Brandon’s face and the phrase “Live Like Five” printed on them, which is a reference to Brandon’s number on his jersey when he played for Monroe High School.
Norma Saunders, a family friend and organizer of the event, says it was important the event honored Brandon as well as his mother Eve.
“Her strength is so much strength for a lot of mothers, a lot of parents, a lot of aunts and uncles and grandparents who are going through the same thing,” Saunders says. “We have to let them know we're here for them."
Eve says her son was a mentor and a leader who was making college plans beyond basketball. She says Brandon stayed away from the streets but, despite not being the intended target, was shot and killed just days after his high school graduation.
"He wanted to go to school, he wanted to graduate,” Eve says. “He wanted to make his mother proud."
Eve says his son continues to live on in the memories that she and other loved ones hold on to.
"Even though that he's gone, he matters even more in death than in life,” Eve says.