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NBA star Derrick Rose was overcome with emotion during his Adidas shoe launch when asked to tell his fans how they have inspired him. Rose paused for several seconds before answering the question, wiping his eyes and nose. “It’s truly a blessing, man. With all of this stuff that’s going on in this city, a kid from Englewood got something positive going on. That makes me feel so good, man. This shoe is great, all this is great. But this, I can’t explain this…I can’t. I went through so much. To have like true fans, that means a lot to me. And I know it means a lot to my family, because we ain’t supposed to be here …at all. But God made a way. This is truly unreal,” he said in between tearful pauses.
The star has a lot to be grateful for, the war zone in Chicago has primarily stemmed from his Englewood community. Eighteen-year-old rapper Jo-Jo was killed in Englewood just weeks ago. Lil Jojo was gunned down last week as he rode on a bicycle with a friend at 69th Street and Princeton Avenue in the South Side of Chicago’ss impoverished Englewood neighborhood. Investigators have been looking into whether a war of words in the Chicago hip-hop community was linked to the slaying. A taunting tweet by rapper Chief Keef drew the interest of law enforcement. Label reps for Chief Keef subsequently released statements saying the rapper’s Twitter account was hacked. The account was also shut down immediately following the tweet.
A bit of a scuffle occurred at the rapper’s funeral on Friday, as a crowd of young men eager to take a last look at Lil JoJo’s body lunged toward his casket, nearly knocking it to the floor and pushing family members out of the way. The commotion drew outrage from relatives of the slain 18-year-old and several hundred other mourners, including a person who picked up a microphone and yelled, “Y’all being disrespectful!”