Basketball seemed to be second on Joakin Noah’s mind on Saturday night, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
After the 111-80 victory over the New York Knicks, he confirmed that rapper Lil Durk’s manager, who was shot and killed early Friday morning, attended a meeting with him just hours earlier, discussing a way to get involved in Noah’s “Rock the Drop’’ anti-violence campaign.
Uchenna Agina, 24, was shot at 1:50 a.m. Friday while sitting in a car in the 8400 block of South Stony Island Avenue, according to authorities.
“It’s very sad,’’ Noah said. “What’s going on in this city is very real. I signed up for this, and I’m just doing everything I can to do something positive. We need to keep up the good fight. Everything I’m doing with my foundation comes from my heart, and it’s important that we don’t turn our backs on anybody.
“I just know that someone came to my house, and we were talking about doing some work for the kids, doing something positive, and he got murdered. I never experienced anything like that. My respects go to his family and to his friends. I just hope that we can find solutions.’’
Noah has promoted his anti-violence campaign most of the season through his Noah’s Arc Foundation.
He said he has been warned to stay away from various rappers in the community, but Agina’s death has strengthened his resolve.
“No question, and we need everybody involved,’’ Noah said. “I’m not staying away from anybody. The reason why I think these rappers are important is even though their message is violent in Chicago, they are a force. And I want to engage with them, and I want to work together with them to do something positive. . . . Their followers and the people who follow them is who I’m trying to reach.’’