Los Angeles Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley briefly left the NBA bubble at Disney World last month when one of his best friends was shot and killed in their hometown of Chicago.
Beverley opened up about losing Davaris Davis to gun violence in an interview with Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN and how he wants to do more for at-risk youth. He was away from the bubble for less than a week because of a “family emergency” and is speaking about it for the first time.
Beverley grieves loss of best friend to gun violence
Davis was shot in the abdomen and arm and pronounced dead at the hospital on July 20, Chicago police said via the Chicago Sun-Times. Another 31-year-old man was shot in the chest and back and was in serious condition.
Beverley said Davis had just turned 31 a few days before and died in the “same neighborhood, same area, same park we hang out at.” He lived with Beverley’ family on the West Side when they were in high school and his mother and grandmother helped raise Davis, per ESPN. He leaves behind three children.
“I cried on my way to practice on the back of the bus, man,” Beverley told ESPN. “It makes me just want to hurry up and win my championship — understanding that I have to go through every process and phase [to get] that while being fortunate to be out here with my teammates — and then get back home to my homies, get back to my friends.
“I am tired of losing people. You know? It hits home for me. I have to deal with the reality when I get back, [but until then] comforting my friends, being a leader right here, being a leader of my crew back home in Chicago.”
Beverley has lost several loved ones to gun violence, per ESPN, including a father figure who was shot and killed in his care when Beverley was a teenager.
Beverley wants to ‘shine a light on Chicago’
There were four people killed and a total of 40 people shot last weekend in Chicago, per the Sun-Times. At least 30 children have been shot and killed since early January, per ABC News, and though the city has made progress against gun violence it is still an issue.
The downtown district experienced hours of looting early Monday following a police shooting on the south side.
“I just want to shine a light on the city of Chicago,” Beverley said, via ESPN. “It ain’t safe right now. It’s a tough time. But there are still kids in there that want to go to the NBA and still kids in there that have dreams to be the next Patrick Beverley. And I just want to make sure that I am staying focused and doing what it takes to inspire.
“Because I am starting to lose people that’s real close to me, and it is starting to hit home. This [restart in the] bubble, my game, the way I carry myself is important, not only to me, but to all the inner city kids around there. … I am trying to make a difference, yo. Just trying to find a way to get everyone out [of danger], you know?”
Beverley told ESPN he has been able to focus on basketball to take his mind away from it and has been using the bubble as a shield to not focus on reality just yet.
He’s missed four games in the bubble with a strained left calf. The Clippers (47-23) trail only the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference and can clinch the No. 2 seed with a win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.
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