The streets of Philadelphia, like most big cities, don’t give you a warning or a heads up when it’s your time.
For new Miami Heat guard Wayne Ellington, gun violence is a personal issue after his father, Wayne Sr., was shot and killed while sitting in his car on a Philadelphia street in 2014.
The former UNC star donated his time to the South Florida community Monday, speaking to high school students in an effort to try and prevent gun violence.
Ellington joined Heat legend Alonzo Mourning at Monday’s event, which focused on encouraging students to form better relationships with each other in an effort to avoid violence in schools.
This past February, the shooter was sentenced to 30-to-60 years in prison for Ellington Sr.’s death.
“As time went on and I grieved with my family and talked about it, I realized I was in a position where I could really change things around and maybe make one person … touch them and turn them in a more positive direction,” Ellington told the Miami Herald’s Manny Navarro.
“We started the campaign the Power of W.E., which is obviously my initials and my father’s initials, for the power of we as people,” Ellington said. “I just want to see a change in mindset of our youth, the younger generation. I want to see them do more positive things for each other and in the community.”
Ellington, 28, signed with the Heat in July after leaving the Brooklyn Nets.