Relatives, coaches, Hammer honor Dennehy at gospel-filled service
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Family, friends and Baylor University officials gathered for Patrick Dennehy's memorial, remembering the slain basketball player as a young man strengthened by a rekindled faith as he struggled to balance basketball, academics and family.
"He was as much a man as he was a boy, as easygoing as he was stubborn," girlfriend Jessica De La Rosa, 20, told more than 300 people at Jubilee Christian Center. "There was nothing at all simple about that guy ... but he still makes me smile and laugh because there were so many things about him that were wonderful."
Dennehy, who transferred to Baylor last year after getting kicked off the team at New Mexico for temper tantrums, became a born-again Christian in June 2002.
"The Bible says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved, and Patrick did that a year ago," Jubilee Pastor Dick Bernal said as mourners wept and at times held their palms up to the sky. "He was still a kid, and he did some foolish things like all of us did as young men. There are questions that need to be answered, but we believe by God's grace they'll be answered by his divine providence."
Dennehy, 21, was last seen near Baylor's campus in Waco, Texas, on June 12. His body was found in a field a few miles away last month.
Carlton Dotson, 21, Dennehy's roommate and former teammate, was arrested and charged with murder July 21, after reportedly telling authorities he shot Dennehy when Dennehy tried to shoot him. He is in a Maryland jail and could be extradited to Texas.
Thursday's two-hour service featured a dozen gold-robed gospel singers, two electric guitars and a Scripture reading by Hammer. The rap star was a Jubilee minister in the late '90s, when he led a Sunday night hip-hop service at the nondenominational church.
Nearly a dozen Baylor officials, including President Robert B. Sloan Jr. and coach Dave Bliss, attended the memorial. The university will hold its own memorial Aug. 28 in Waco.
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