Corey Ballentine, whom the Giants selected in the sixth round of the 2019 draft yesterday, was shot in central Topeka just hours later, per Erika Hall of WIBW.com. Ballentine, a cornerback from Washburn, is expected to make a full recovery.
Officers responded to reports of gunshots around 12:45am. Ballentine and Dwane Simmons, another Washburn football player, were both shot, but while Ballentine suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Simmons, 23, passed away in the street. Ballentine was taken to an area hospital.
The Giants have released the following statement (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post on Twitter):
“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.”
Tyler Greever of WIBW says that Ballentine was very close to Simmons, and that Ballentine was supposed to discuss being selected by the Giants at 3pm today (Twitter links). Obviously, the interview has been postponed.
Ballentine has the athletic ability to eventually compete for a significant role in the Giants’ defensive backfield, and hopefully he will be able to bounce back from this tragic turn to the start of his professional career.
We here at PFR offer our condolences to Simmons’ friends and family.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.