DeAndre’ Bembry Opens Up About Losing His Brother Weeks Before Being Drafted and How He’s Carrying on His Legacy
For Toronto Raptors forward DeAndre’ Bembry, the 2016 NBA Draft where he was selected in the first round by the Atlanta Hawks, it was a bittersweet day.
“Me and my mom and my grandmother all just broke down and started crying…It helped that all the people that were there felt a lot of the same pain I felt at the time,” Bembry said to People. The report describes that Bembry was recalling “mixed emotions he felt” on draft day finding out he was drafted.
Those “mixed emotions” were stirring from what happened “days before the…draft” (as AP World Organization mentions) .
“In the early morning of June 11, 2016 literally days before the much anticipated draft, Essence (Adrian and DeAndre’s mother) received the tragic news from Adrian’s father. Her 20-year-old, ambitious, fun-loving and tenacious son, was shot and killed near the University of North Carolina, Charlotte campus. According to the Philadelphia Enquirer, three other people were shot and wounded in an altercation while attending a party. Adrian was attempting to be a peacemaker. This tragedy had a shocking and paralyzing effect on the Bembry family. Knowing where to find support and assistance while planning a funeral service, dealing with unimaginable grief and the reality of life without a son, brother and best friend, were overwhelming for Essence and DeAndre’”.“The Legacy of Adrian Allen Potts”: AP World Organization
Bembry founded a non-profit called AP World “in memory of his brother, Adrian Potts” (as stated on the organization’s site).
For Bembry, he told People “he thinks about his brother and honoring his legacy ‘every day’…he recalls talking with him about their goals shortly before his death. At the time, Adrian was a college student and wanted to become a lawyer…When Bembry was drafted by the Hawks, whom he credits for supporting him through a difficult time, he chose to wear No. 95…the year Adrian was born”.
“He wanted to be the mayor of Charlotte,” Bembry said to People. “He enjoyed learning.”
“DeAndre’ and Adrian were truly more than brothers, they were also best friends,” AP World’s site states. “The two had a connection and bond that was powerful and full of love. When DeAndre’ earned a basketball scholarship to Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Adrian was often on campus visiting his brother. On a path to success himself, Adrian attended North Carolina Central University in Durham. Adrian celebrated his brothers’ accomplishments and planned to be sitting alongside DeAndre’ to watch the NBA draft on June 23, 2016. Adrian helped plan the draft party with their mother, Essence.”
Bembry and the organization want to continuing honoring Adrian’s legacy.
“This family tragedy served as the catalyst for DeAndre’ to develop a support system that could be an anchor and a resource hub for other families who may have to take a similar journey through grief,” AP World’s site states.
If you’d like to help support AP World and their cause, you can do so here.
Bembry was also a guest on virtual roundtable held by People, who partnered with Everytown for Gun Safety ahead of National Gun Violence Survivors Week (February 1- 7).
Number-95. Every time Bembry throws on that NBA jersey, this time with the Raptors, he is honoring his little brother.
And get this. You want to know how well Bembry is shooting with his new team this season?
Bembry’s field goal percentage so far is 51.9 percent as of February 3. Yeah, Bembry’s best friend and beloved brother has to be looking out for him, as well.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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