Dexter Rentz was a young athlete on the rise. The 18-year-old football player from Ocoee High School in Florida recently signed with the University of Louisville. However, on Saturday, April 25, he was fatally shot in his hometown of Orlando, Florida. The story moved NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal so much that he has reached out to the Rentz family to cover the cost of the funeral expenses.
According to ESPN, O’Neal has offered to pay for the funeral, which will include a horse and carriage and a custom-made casket.
Shaq, who played for the Orlando Magic from 1992 to 1996, watched highlights of Rentz's high school games. He told ESPN, "He was on his way. He really was. I don't know what it feels like to lose a son, but I know what it feels like to lose someone."
In October, O'Neal’s sister Ayesha Harrison-Jex passed away of cancer.
Shaq continued, "This one hurts my heart. It really does. I wish things like this would never go on. It's just so sad, and I want to be able to help his family. I wanted to take care of it."
University of Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said in a statement: "We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dexter Rentz. He was a great young man who had a contagious personality, and was able to light up a room with his smile. He was a great kid to be around and he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rentz family during this extremely difficult time."
The Orlando Sentinel reports Rentz was in his car with his younger brother, Derrick, about to leave their grandfather's house following a funeral, when shots were fired from a high capacity weapon at the vehicle.
Derrick, who wasn’t seriously injured, decided to drive to the hospital in lieu of waiting for the paramedics. When Dexter stopped breathing, his brother pulled over and began administering CPR. Police were eventually waved down.
Their mother, Sinclair Rentz, told the ESPN, “They [were] at my daddy’s house on Ellese Street, right across the street from, I guess, the apartment house where these guys were shooting. These guys just were doing a drive-by and let off rounds. It hit Dexter, but it was not targeted for Dexter. He got shot on his left side. The guys let off over 15 rounds. … This was all from some rap beef, I guess."
BET sends condolences to the Rentz family at this time.
Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Epson