Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chicago Tribune-Dwayne Wade Meets With Family of Slain Chicago Teen

Dwayne Wade and Chicago area Kids:Zbigniew Bzdak: Chicago Tribune
(Story reported by William Lee for the Chicago Tribune)

The NBA champ, who spent part of his childhood in Englewood, came bearing gifts. In addition to backpacks and school supplies, Wade presented Jones' siblings with Visa and Foot Locker gift cards and autographed jerseys. He also presented a check for $2,500 to Denise Jones.

Afterwards, Wade ate and talked with the family for an hour and a half, sharing basketball tips with Jones' brothers. He also signed Jones' school jersey and one of his basketballs for the family.

Those present said there seemed to be some initial awkwardness between the Miami Heat NBA star and the awestruck kids. The usually talkative Wade found himself simply uttering "I don't know what to say."  

Jones' mom was equally tongue-tied.

"I was in a state of shock. I've still got butterflies," Denise Jones this evening.

Kevin Jones, 15, was shot at a graduation party in the city's Gresham neighborhood on June 13 after a disturbance broke out between the party's host and at least two guests. Jones, a freshman at Harper High School, wasn't involved in the altercation and was wounded when the gunman fled the apartment, but fired a shot through an open window, authorities said.

After reading the Tribune's article in which one of Jones' friends spoke of the teen's admiration for Wade, the NBA star's sister -- Tragil Wade, who works with her brother's charitable foundation -- said they decided to do something for the family.

"We went into a discussion about how could we reach out to the family," she said.

(click here to read the full story on the Chicago Tribune website)

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