Doctors say Everett Henderson is lucky just to be alive. The teen instead feels he’s lucky to now inspire his teammates.
As noted by Chicago ABC affiliate WLS, Henderson returned to give his Chicago Vocational Career Academy teammates a rousing pep talk before their Friday night game at Solario. While the inspirational words couldn’t lead his team to victory — Solorio emerged as 55-14 winners — they were still miraculous, given that Henderson was hit by six gunshots just six days earlier. In an homage to the violence that has now cost the team its best player, the entire Vocational team took a knee during the national anthem before the game.
Henderson told WLS that he was still suffering from pain from his injuries, and one of the bullets that struck him is still lodged in his chest, near his heart. The injuries have also likely cost him the opportunity to be recruited to play collegiate football. That won’t keep him from getting his life back, according to his coach.
“To me as a coach, it is very devastating. I treat all these kids like I do my own son. One game you are rushing for 230 yards, and three hours later you may not play football again,” Vocational coach Larry Williams told WLS. “He has a long road ahead of him, but the tenacity Everett has, hopefully he can pull through this.”