Basketball game honors slain Sanderson High player who was headed to college

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Sherri Jenkins spent many nights on basketball courts watching her son, Desmond.

A Sanderson High School star was on his way to play at Vance-Granville Community College.

“Desmond loved basketball,” Sherri Jenkins said. “Ever since he could hold a ball, he was playing basketball.”

That all changed in August, when her 18-year-old son died after being shot in front of his Raleigh home. 

“The past few months have been terrible,” Jenkins said. “It’s been difficult, very difficult losing my son to violence.

Saturday, she watched some of his former teammates come together to play their game. She and family members hosted a memorial game to honor Desmond Jenkins.

“It just makes me happy, it really does,” Jenkins said.

Marcus Greene and Javon Prim shared the court with Jenkins while playing at Sanderson High School.

“One of a kind, really,” Prim said.

They both said he was a teammate that always was full of energy.

“He was really passionate about basketball, so doing something like this, in his honor, this is really special to us,” Greene said.

For Darien Johnson, being a referee for the game is an honor to pay tribute to a close friend.

“I hate that we’re even in this situation,” Johnson said. “He had so much life to live. He had so many things that he wanted to do.”

His family also raised money at the game for a scholarship, created in Desmond’s name, to help Sanderson High student-athletes.

“There are so many that want to go to college, but don’t have the financial means to do so, in this area specifically,” Jenkins said. “It’s just important that we educate our children, and they have opportunities.”

Jenkins hopes to make the game an annual tradition to honor her son and help others.

For more information on the scholarship fund, click here.

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