Corey Ballentine, a sixth-round draft pick to the New York Giants was reportedly injured in a shooting in Topeka, Kansas Sunday morning (April 28), People reports. His college teammate at Washburn University, Dwane Simmons, was unfortunately killed.
The shooting occurred hours after the Washburn University senior was selected in the NFL Draft on Saturday (April 27). The Topeka Police Department said their officers responded to a “disturbance with gunshots” at an off-campus location around midnight on Sunday. Upon arrival, they discovered Simmons dead. Ballentine was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Washburn University’s president, Dr. Jerry Farley released a statement in mourning of the school’s tremendous loss. “Any time we lose a student it is a sad occasion, but it is particularly poignant to lose a student through such a senseless act,” he said. “Both Dwane and Corey have been great examples and representatives of the football team and of Washburn University in general. This was a terrible way to end a day which should have been a day of celebration and a day to look forward to Dwane’s upcoming year at Washburn and the beginning of Corey’s professional career.”
The Giants also responded to the recent reports, stating, “we are aware of the tragic situation and continue to gather information. We have spoken to Corey, and he is recovering in the hospital. Our thoughts are with Dwane Simmons’ family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community.”
Twenty-three-year-old Ballentine was the seventh pick of the sixth round, and the 180th overall. He was also the first player out of Washburn to be drafted since Cary Williams went to the Tennessee Titans in 2008. The defensive back expressed his excitement for the new chapter on Instagram prior to the shooting. “It’s all a crazy dream until you do it. I can’t even explain the emotions I have right now. Blessed with the opportunity to live out my dream,” he wrote. “Shout out the people that told me to pick a more realistic career. This is as real as it gets. Thank you to the Giants organization for believing in me. It’s only up from here. #GiantsPride”
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It’s all a crazy dream until you do it. I can’t even explain the emotions I have right now. Blessed with the opportunity to live out my dream. Shout out the people that told me to pick a more realistic career. This is as real as it gets. Thank you to the Giants organization for believing in me. It’s only up from here. #GiantsPride