Los Angeles Lakers guard Wayne Ellington was struck with tragic news this week after he was alerted that his father was shot and killed in Philadelphia. The Lakers allowed Ellington to go on leave as he mourns the loss.
Wayne Robert Ellington Sr., 57, was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head around 8 p.m. Sunday night in Germantown section of Philadelphia. Details are scant, but the Philadelphia Inquirer says Ellington’s killing is essentially a mystery. Ellington Sr. was shot and point-blank range through a partially opened window, and it appears he drove off while shot and struck two parked cars.
WPVI-TV News sat down with Ellington Jr., as he struggled to make sense of the murder.
“He said, ‘Ball hard! Get this first win tonight,” said Ellington.
Ellington Jr. reflects on the text message he received right before his NBA game on Sunday.
It was from his biggest fan – his father.
“He played a huge role in me playing basketball, he put me in a league at 5 years old,” said Ellington Jr.
The Lakers went on to win that game Sunday but after the victory Ellington Jr. received the worst news ever – his dad had been fatally shot.
“I’m devastated. For a son to lose his father is very tough, it’s unbelievable. It’s crazy, I went from a high to the lowest point of my life,” he said.
Ellington Jr. is on indefinite leave from the Lakers team as he grieves with his family, but did offer stern word’s to his father’s killer.
“It’s going to come out, it always does. Philly is not that big of a place, people talk. Whoever did this is going to get what they deserve,” said Ellington Jr.