Steven Richard Henderson Jr., 17, Northern High basketball player

June 28, 1999|By Zerline A. Hughes | Zerline A. Hughes,SUN STAFF

Services for Steven Richard Henderson Jr., a promising basketball player at Northern High School who was killed when a gunman tried to rob him in Northeast Baltimore, will be held at 6: 30 p.m. tomorrow at New Mount Hebron Baptist Church, 2016 W. North Ave.

Mr. Henderson, who lived with his family in the Cedonia area, died of a gunshot wound to the chest Wednesday at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He was 17.

Mr. Henderson, nicknamed Bo, completed his sophomore year at Northern this month. He had hopes of joining the Army to pay for college and playing professional basketball, his family said.

He was enrolled in Northern's Futures Program, which pairs students with school counselors in a mentoring effort. He was to receive an award honoring his scholastic improvement and determination, said Janet Warden, Mr. Henderson's stepmother.

Mr. Henderson also spent much of his time playing basketball, practicing every day at school or on playgrounds, his family said.

"He was going to be an impact player next year," said Paul Holmes, Mr. Henderson's basketball coach at Northern.

"He had just played a summer league game and was so happy that we had won the night of the shooting," he said. "I was looking forward to him playing next year. He moved up to our varsity basketball team during his sophomore year and he definitely would have made it to the collegiate level."

Popular at school and in his community, Mr. Henderson painted homes for neighbors and fixed bicycles for neighborhood kids after school and on the weekend, family member said. He also loved to draw.

"Steven was a good kid," said grandmother Alinda Williams. "He lost his mother to cancer when he was 9, and we just lost his [great-] grandmother last month."

On Wednesday, Mr. Henderson and two teammates from a summer basketball league were walking after a game in the 5400 block of Bucknell Road near his home about 10: 30 p.m., when they were accosted by two young men demanding money. One of the robbers had a handgun.

The three boys ran from the assailants. According to police and family accounts, Mr. Henderson turned and was shot in the chest. He tried to continue running but collapsed on the sidewalk, family members said.

The assailants fled. No arrests have been made.

"I'm going to miss his speaking to me every morning," said Steven R. Henderson Sr., his father. "He would always come and ask me if I was all right -- he was always concerned. He was a kind, sincere, and devoted son whose smiling face brought joy to those he touched."

In addition to his father, stepmother and grandmother, all of Baltimore, Mr. Henderson is survived by two sisters, Nikia Nichols and Veronica "Tutti" Nichols, both of Baltimore.

Pub Date: 6/28/99

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