NFL Draft Pick Shot Hours After Being Selected

Corey Ballentine was wounded and teammate Dwane Simmons killed in a shooting
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2019 5:00 PM CDT
NFL Draft Pick Shot Hours After Being Selected
Washburn defensive back Corey Ballentine runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, March 4, 2019.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Corey Ballentine was thrilled to hear the New York Giants were drafting him. Only hours later, he and a college teammate were shot on the streets of Topeka, Kansas, WIBW reports. Ballentine, 23, is expected to recover, but Dwane Simmons, 23, died on the scene. Police say no arrests have been made in the 12:45am Sunday shooting just a few streets away from Washburn University's Topeka campus, per the New York Times. "Any time we lose a student it is a sad occasion, but it is particularly poignant to lose a student through such a senseless act," said Jerry Farley, the school's president, in a statement. He added that "this was a terrible way to end a day which should have been a day of celebration."

And a celebration it was. "It’s all a crazy dream until you do it. I can’t even explain the emotions I have right now," Ballentine tweeted Saturday after going 180th in the draft. "S/o the people that told me to pick a more realistic career. This is as real as it gets. ... It's only up from here." A fast cornerback known for blocking kicks, he was the first Division II Washburn Ichabods draft pick in over 10 years. Ballentine "runs 4.44, plays 4.44," Giants general manager Dave Gettleman told the New York Post. "He's got ball skills, he’s played the nickel, he's played outside. How do you pass him up?" Simmons, a defensive back who played 17 games through injuries, is described by his coach as "one of the most energetic and well-liked players" he's known. Grief counselors have been placed on the Washburn campus. (More shooting stories.)

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