Remembering Brandon "B-Diddy" Hendricks
Karim Adeen-Hasan, Martiza Martinez and Warren Rosenberg - November 30, 2021
On November 30, 2019, the publication Hoop Dreams NYC posted a tweet about an up-and-coming St. John’s University basketball prospect at James Monroe High School in the Bronx. The tweet recognized this young athlete for capturing the Sportsmanship Award for his 18 point, 5 rebound performance, against rival Brooklyn Collegiate. The winner of this award, Brandon Hendricks-Ellison, had reposted this on his own Twitter page as shown below (in red uniform).
Two years later, on November 30, 2021, during a Public High School Athletic League game against Samuel Gompers High School, the James Monroe Campus High School retired Brandon’s #5 uniform at a touching ceremony honoring his short life.
On June 28th, 2020, seventeen year old Brandon Hendricks-Ellison had been gunned down on a Bronx street while enjoying an outdoor barbeque with friends and family. He was the unfortunate victim of a stray bullet intended for someone else. One more victim of the City’s senseless gun violence. He had just recently graduated from high school and was just one week from celebrating his 18th birthday and looking forward to beginning college at St. John's where he hoped to continue playing basketball.
At the ceremony, Brandon’s mother spoke, saying thank you to those at James Monroe High School who taught, coached, and looked after Brandon. She went on to note that, “in retiring Brandon’s jersey #5, you have made Brandon an example for others to follow, and that was very important to Brandon. My Brandon, your ‘B-Diddy’, made a change. Brandon left an impression on everyone he came across and will continue to influence others in the future.”
Above: Brandon Hendricks-Ellison's mother receiving her son's retired uniform
Although he is gone, Brandon is not forgotten. His memory will live on in a New York City street bearing his name, Brandon Hendricks-Ellison Boulevard at the intersection of 156th Street and Park Avenue. Bearing truth to her words that Brandon will "continue to influence others in the future", a scholarship has been created in his name. In 2020, the Bronx Rising Initiative (BRI) launched the Brandon Hendricks Scholarship and, as they stated in announcing the scholarship, "Brandon Hendricks was a consistent source of hope and inspiration for everyone that knew him and had recently been accepted to college with a full scholarship. To honor Brandon’s life, our organization offers financial scholarships in his name to multiple high school seniors from The Bronx that have recently been admitted to college."
The scholarship awards $5,000 to high school seniors from the Bronx who have been admitted into college. On July 7th of this year, on what would have been Brandon's 19th birthday, ten young women were awarded the Brandon Hendricks Scholarship. For information about the scholarship, for application information, or to make a donation, reach out to the Bronx Rising Initiative at: https://www.bronxrisinginitiative.com/bhscholarship