Slain ex-Simeon football star memorialized
By CLYDE TRAVIS For Sun-Times Media October 26, 2013 7:52PM
Updated: November 28, 2013 7:02AM
Hundreds of mourners, including a who’s who of Simeon football, filled a church in Harvey on Saturday for the funeral of Demarius Reed, a former Wolverines star receiver who was killed in an apparent robbery Oct. 18 in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Reed, 20, played receiver for the Eastern Michigan University football team, catching 15 passes in six games this season for 181 yards and a touchdown. He was a communications major at the school.
He was repeatedly shot in an off-campus apartment building in what the police think was a robbery.
A 4-feet-tall photo of Reed carrying a football was placed next to his casket at Holy Temple Cathedral, where Pastor Janet Goodwin called him “somebody special.”
Also among those eulogizing Reed was Darius Scott, his teammate at Eastern Michigan and Simeon who also was his college roommate. Scott spoke about how they were known by their uniform numbers at Simeon, where they partnered in a potent defensive backfield.
“We just enjoyed being called ‘No. 1’ and ‘No. 2,’ ” Scott said. “We could read each other on the field without talking.”
The mourners also included Simeon head football coach Dante Culbreath and other former Simeon standouts Robert Gregory, who now plays at Purdue; Horactio Banks, at Ball State; Christian Bryant, Michigan; Kendall Moore, Syracuse; and Fabbians Ebbele, Arizona.
“My coaches told me they understood that I needed to be here for this,” Banks said. “All of us stayed in contact with each other and encouraged each other to stay strong. I am going to miss my brother so much.”
Former Simeon basketball star and NBA player Bobby Simmons tried to comfort some of the grieving students. “He was a great young guy,” Simmons said. “Whenever I was at the school, he would always come over and ask me questions. He seemed to have his priorities in order and was moving in the right direction. This was senseless.”
Reed’s impact on the next generation of players was apparent from another tribute: members of the Harvey Colts youth football team were wearing their jerseys as a tribute.
Chicago Public Schools sports chief Thomas Trotter spoke of the need for a culture change: “We have to do something to change the thought process of many of these young people that are growing up with no conscience.”