Vocational’s star running back Everett Henderson was shot on his front porch on Saturday, only three hours after playing a football game against Rich East in Park Forest.
Henderson, 17, was on the front porch of his home in the 10900 block of South Eberhart when a gray car drove by and someone inside it opened fire, hitting him in the back and right hand, according to Chicago Police.
Henderson was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where his condition was stabilized, police said. He was shot a total of six times according to Vocational football coach Larry Williams.
“He was shot in his butt, chest, twice in the hand and in his stomach,” said Williams. “His mom said surgery was successful. However he lost half of his intestine and he will have to be in a wheelchair for awhile. They are worried about how much movement he’ll have in his left leg. It’s good that they got to him in time. The wounds aren’t life threatening, but career ending from what I was told.”
Henderson was in the midst of a breakout season for the Cavaliers. He was running for more than 100 yards a game and had scored more than seven touchdowns in three games. Western Michigan, Northern Illinois and Western Illinois were all showing interest. Henderson also played defensive back.
“He was having an awesome season,” said Williams. “This was going to be a breakout year for us and the program. He was about 90% of the offense. The kid was just a game-changer.”
Henderson played basketball and ran track at Julian last year. He transferred to Vocational for his senior year due to safety issues.
“There were some issues that were going in the neighborhood at Julian,” said Williams. “[Henderson] is a tremendous kid. We didn’t have any problems with him at the school. I don’t know what he did on the streets, but he’s an awesome kid in the school. He doesn’t talk back, very, very coachable. He’s a great leader. I don’t have anything negative to say about him. He’s done everything I’ve asked.”
Vocational basketball coach Chris Pickett said he expected Henderson to be on his team this season. Lamont Bryant, the athletic director at Vocational, said Henderson shocked him with his athletic ability.
“I had put together a seniors vs. juniors basketball game a little bit after he came over from Julian,” Bryant said. “He’s only 5-5 but he put on a show. He can dunk backwards. That was my first time seeing him play.”
Pickett and Williams both said they were concerned about Henderson’s future now that it’s likely his sports career is over.
“It isn’t about football anymore,” said Williams. “It’s just how he is going to bounce back and continue to live his life.”
Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire