KANSAS CITY, MO. — It’s been five days since high-schoolers crashed on slick roads as they drove to school, leaving one Lincoln Prep teen seriously injured.
Israel Gentry, nicknamed “Rocket,” is still recovering from a broken spine, neck and arm, among other injuries.
So while his teammates are focusing on the playoffs, they’re also finding time to support their friend.
“I’ve been at the hospital almost every day,” Gentry’s teammate, K.J. Farmer, said. “When it first happened, we were at the hospital until almost 12 o’ clock, even though we had a game the next day, because if I was in the same predicament, I know he would be there. So I have to be there for him, as him being my brother.”
The players also helped out their friend by creating a GoFundMe account, which has already surpassed $6,000. All the money raised will go toward the family’s medical expenses.
But the real impact noticeable every day inside the school. Rocket’s teammates are dedicating each day with special themes to honor the teen.
“Monday was glasses day because he wears glasses and hats, and today we did casually dressed down because he wears a lot of sweat pants and sweat shirts. Tomorrow is Skittles day because he loves purple skittles,” Farmer said.
Farmer describes Gentry as being more than just a teammate. He’s a brother, impacting each player and coach in a special way.
“We are a really tight-knit bunch, so it’s been really tough on them,” defensive line coach Frederick Pitts said. “It’s just hard to explain because he means so much to the team, but they’re not worried about the football part of it. Their brotherhood, they are worried about him as a person.”
Pitts, Farmer and so many others are keeping faith that Gentry will be right back on the field again.
“I believe in God, and he does work miracles,” Farmer said. “And he’s always been a fighter, so I know he is going to be back sooner than everyone expects it, and I don`t think nothing else of it.”