By JEFF MAYES
Chicago Sun-Times Wire
The Illinois Sabers minor league football team opened its 2016 season by celebrating a championship. This season will open on a more somber note: A special ceremony will honor one of its players, Cedric Adkins-Malone, who died five days after being shot outside his Far South Side home.
“He was one of our own,” Sabers general manager Dana Hutchinson said Thursday. “We are still in shock. He was a good kid, very respectful. He was a mama’s boy. He was like one of our kids.”
Things won’t be any easier for the boys basketball team at the Community Youth Development Institute. The team played in the semifinals of the Alternative Schools Network’s Final Four Wednesday, just hours after learning of the death of Adkins-Malone, a former player who helped out as an assistant coach.
“The boys struggled through, and you could tell their minds were elsewhere,” ASN assistant director Matrice Manuel said.”But they pulled it out somehow and will play for the championship Friday night.”
The 22-year-old Adkins-Malone was working on his car last week in front of his Rosemoor home when he was shot. Five days later, the popular local athlete, who also coached youth basketball, was dead.
He was outside working outside about 2:15 p.m. Friday, March 17, in the 10200 block of South Calumet when someone came out of a gangway across the street and opened fire, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.