Family blames death of teen basketball star on spike in NYC shootings

A promising 17-year-old Bronx basketball player had a bright future on the court before he fell victim to the city’s recent spike in shootings, his family said.

Brandon Hendricks, a recent graduate from James Monroe High School, was “the kid you want your daughter to marry,” until he was shot dead at a friend’s barbecue late Sunday, his uncle told The Post.

“It’s appalling that it has spiked like this,” said Noel Ellison, 67. “This was a good kid that got caught in a bad situation.”

“Seventeen-year-old children should not be dying in the manner they have been dying in their own neighborhoods,” Ellison said. “This is a terrible situation.”

Hendricks, a standout on the James Monroe team who also played his freshman year at Fordham Prep, was eyeing Division 1 and Division 2 colleges and spoke to Ellison on the phone about his options as late as 9:30 p.m. Sunday — just hours before he was shot dead.

“We were talking about the things he had to do in preparation for college,” he said.

He said Hendricks was at a friend’s birthday celebration in Morris Heights when he was shot following an altercation, and says his nephew “got caught in the crossfire.”

According to sources, witnesses told police Hendricks “had been engaged in a verbal dispute … shortly before he was shot.”

The teen, known to friends as “B Diddy 5,” was shot once in the neck around 11:50 p.m. at Davidson Avenue near 176th Street. He was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“He had every reason to be successful,” Ellison said. “Every right to have that promise, every right to have it fulfilled in a country that is supposed to be great. This is a tragedy, not only for the family but for the world. We believe God is joining us in crying.”

The Fordham Prep basketball program on Monday tweeted about Hendricks’ potential.

“We are saddened to hear of the sudden passing of former Fordham Prep Ram, Brandon Hendricks,” the post said. “He was only with us for 1 year but saw plenty of potential as he moved on and recently graduated from Monroe HS.”

“Prayers are sent to his family and friends.”

Hendricks’ slaying comes amid a dramatic increase in shootings in the five boroughs. There were 63 shootings in the Big Apple with 85 victims over the week ending on Sunday, police sources said. That’s a spike over 26 shootings over the same span last year.

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