Star high school football player shot 6 times returns to cheer on team

An ABC7 Eyewitness News Exclusive
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A star Chicago high school football player badly injured in a shooting has returned to cheer on his team for their big Friday night game.

Everett Henderson, 17, still has a bullet lodged in his chest. He was shot six times on Sept. 10, only three hours after playing a football game against Rich East in Park Forest.

Friday, Henderson met up with his team at Chicago Vocational Career Academy. A star running back, he is moving slowly these days but doctors said the fact that he is moving at all is a miracle.

"I just got a little pain going. A little pain, but I can take it though. I'm real strong. God works in mysterious ways," Henderson said.

Henderson was shot only six days ago.

"I was just on my porch and a car rolled past. I looked at my phone and it just happened. I tried to run. I didn't get too far, but I got far enough," he said.

Henderson's running skills likely saved him from more shots, but he sustained bullet wounds in his hands, buttocks and abdomen, including one lodged close to his heart. Still, the teenage athlete was determined to return to school and give his teammates a pep talk before Friday night's football game.

"They've been more down than me because a lot of people say I was best person on the team, but in my eyes it's the team," Henderson said.

The Vocational Cavaliers took a knee during the National Anthem in honor of their missing-in-action star player.

"To me as a coach, it is very devastating. I treat all these kids like I do my own son. One game you are rushing for 230 yards, and three hours later you may not play football again," said coach Larry Williams.

In his senior year, Henderson knows his high school football career is over but, he is not ruling out playing in college. The teen's parents say if their son overcame juvenile arthritis he can overcome his latest challenge.

"He always had something that tried to keep him down, but he always overcome, he always took the next step, he always pushed himself," said his father, Everett Henderson, Sr.

"He has a long road ahead of him, but the tenacity Everett has, hopefully he can pull through this," Williams said.

Besides returning to the football field Henderson said he would like to give motivational speeches to kids his age about violence.

"I think me giving out motivational speeches will help a lot of people. 'Cuz I can tell them how I feel, how it feels to get shot, and how to stop being a victim of this," he said.

The person who shot Henderson is still at large.
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