7 BRONX WEEKLY July 19, 2020 www.BXTimes.com
BY JASON COHEN
He had a bright future, was
a star basketball player and had
plans to play hoops collegiately.
Brandon Hendricks-Ellison was a
leader, friend, son and role model.
On July 15, he was remembered.
On Wednesday, family, friends,
elected offi cials and teammates
gathered at the First Baptist
Church of Bronxville to celebrate
the life of Hendricks-Ellison.
Known as “Boogie” and
“BDiddy,” there was not a dry eye
in the house. People spoke fondly
of the departed teen. Many donned
T-shirts and jerseys with the
phrase “Live Like 5” in honor of
Hendricks, just 17-years-old
was shot and killed just a week
after he graduated from James
Monroe High School. On July 6,
cops arrested his alleged killer,
22-year-old Najhim Luke, who was
charged with murder, manslaughter
and criminal possession of a
“By all accounts, Brandon
was a great kid, smart, kind, loving,
respectful and attentive to
others,” said his uncle Noel Ellison.
“His smile was an endearing
weapon. He could melt your heart
with those pearly whites.”
He was born in Bronxville and
raised in Morrisania. Not only
did he excel on the court, but he
also succeeded in the classroom.
Hendricks won academic awards
and often helped his classmates
with their work.
According to Ellison, he was
dependable and always there for
people in a time of need.
“He truly was a special young
man,” he said. “He lived his life as
a positive example.”
Surrounded by Hendricks’
teammates, Coach Nigel Thompson
spoke about the beloved player.
Thompson emotionally choked up,
said if he had a son he would wish
he was like Hendricks.
According to Thompson, “Boogie
“led by example and never
missed a practice in three years.
He also had him as a student in geometry
and said it was one of his
favorite years of teaching.
“Brandon is a role model,” he
remarked. “A kid who did everything
Thompson said that Hendricks
wasn’t in a gang or a troublemaker.
The coach said the community
Eve Hendricks, mother Brandon Hendricks-Ellison, who was shot and killed in the
Bronx of New York City on June 29th days after his graduation from high school,
arrives to his funeral service at the First Baptist Church of Bronxville in Bronxville,
New York, U.S., July 15, 2020.
Courtesy of REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
must change and the city must create
jobs and places for kids to go after
“Young people, please stop the
violence,” he urged. “Live like
Brandon did and live like 5.”
Elected offi cials Councilman
Andy King, Councilwoman Vanessa
Gibson and Senator Jamaal
Bailey were all in attendance. Gibson,
who represents Morrisania,
said she plans to introduce a bill to
the City Council that will rename
a street after Hendricks.
At just 17-years-old, Gibson said
that the young man’s life was just
“It’s hard to sit here and mourn
the loss of someone who had such
promise and a bright future,” she
said. “In just 17 years on this earth,
look at the impact Brandon had on
the Bronx and beyond.”
A somber Bailey said he hopes
the community becomes the leader
Hendricks was. He was a star point
guard and now people must follow
in his footsteps.
Bailey has championed for police
reform, but stressed if people
in the Bronx keep killing each
other things will never improve.
This nonstop violence must end.
“We’ve got to do better,” Bailey
said. “We need to make sure we
do the right things in our community.”
Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and
president of National Action Network
(NAN) gave the eulogy.
Sharpton said his daughter told
him about Hendricks. He recalled
how six years ago he received a
similar call about Eric Garner.
The reverend said that Hendricks’
legacy shall not be forgotten
and he was establishing a
scholarship in his memory and donating
“Too often we expose the bad
kids in our community, but the
world needs to know there are
Brandons that did the right thing,”
Sharpton said that he was sick
and tired of this violence killing
people of color. He questioned why
people were more worried about
deporting immigrants than keeping
He said that they don’t make
bullets or guns on Fordham Road,
yet people in urban communities
believe guns are the answer.
“Back lives don’t matter until
they matter to us as much as
they do to the people that we say
‘Black Lives Matter’ to,” he said.
“His death never should have happened.”
‘Live like Brandon’
Family and friends remember
Brandon Hendricks-Ellison at funeral
Eve Hendricks kisses her son Brandon Hendricks-Ellison, who was shot and killed
in the Bronx of New York City on June 29th, days after his graduation from high
school, during his funeral service at the First Baptist Church of Bronxville in
Bronxville, New York, U.S., July 15, 2020.
Courtesy of REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Men grieve by the open casket of Brandon Hendricks-Ellison, who was shot and killed in the Bronx of New York City on June
29th days after his graduation from high school, during his funeral service at the First Baptist Church of Bronxville Courtesy
of REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Rev. Al Sharpton gives the eulogy.
Photo by Jason Cohen