The day after Corey Ballentine was selected by the Giants in the sixth round of the NFL draft, he and a close friend and former teammate on the Washburn University football team were involved in a shooting.
Dwane Simmons suffered a fatal wound. Ballentine suffered a non-life threatening injury, and is expected to make a full recovery, according to the New York Post.
Police officers in Topeka, Kansas, responded to reports of gunfire at about 12:45 a.m. on Sunday, on the 1400 block of 13th Street in Topeka, according to WIBW Topeka.
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Reports indicated Simmons, 23, died in the street.
“We are aware of the tragic situation and continue to gather information,” according to the official New York Giants Twitter account. “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.”
The shooting came hours after the defensive back from was drafted 180th in the NFL Draft on Saturday.
"I've been waiting on this opportunity for a lifetime, really,” Ballentine posted on the Giants official website. “I'm glad to be a part of the conversation. I'm definitely ready to start learning and be around the guys and be around you guys."
According to the Giants, Ballentine played in 46 games at Washburn, recording 186 tackles, 113 of which were solo, 10 tackles for loss, forced four fumbles, recovered three fumble, and hauled in five interceptions. He was the 2018 Cliff Harris Award winner as the small college defensive player of the year, and was the first Ichabod and one of only three NCAA Division II players to be selected for the 2019 Senior Bowl. He was also selected second-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association.
Ballentine is the highest of six players to ever be picked in the NFL Draft from Washburn University, and is the first to be drafted since 2008. "You got a competitor," Washburn University Thunderbirds Coach Jason Swift told WIBW.
"You got a high-character guy, a competitor that's worked his tail off from the day he started competing, whether it'd be in track or in football. He's always given his best and I think the New York Giants got a special one in Corey.”