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Trial Begins in Murder of Ex-NBA, Big 3 Player Andre Emmett

By Dorothy J. Gentry
Sports Editor
Photos: Dorothy J. Gentry and Regina Oliver

Andre Emmett
Andre Emmett

Three years after his murder, Andre Emmett’s spirit and commitment to creating opportunities for youth, and his impact on generations of kids who’ve never met him remains steady and strong.

There’s the annual basketball camp held at both the Moorland Family YMCA in Oak Cliff and hundreds of miles away in Lubbock; the annual Oliver Family Charities Holiday Toy Drive where low-income youth are treated to food, bikes, and other toys at Christmas; the refurbished outside basketball courts around the city and more.

These are the memories Emmett’s mom, Regina Oliver, is working to keep alive, more so now than ever as the murder trial of a man accused in the death of the former NBA player gets underway.

Larry Jenkins, 23, is facing capital murder charges in the death of Emmett who was shot and killed September 23, 2019, when he was robbed outside his home in Old East Dallas. Emmett’s murder was captured by the Ring camera system on his front door. Jenkins is one of three people charged with his murder. If convicted, Jenkins would receive an automatic life sentence.

Kennedy and Zara
Andre Emmett’s daughters – Kennedy and Zara

The other two defendants, Michael Lucky and Keith Johnson, are also charged with capital murder in Emmett’s death and will go on trial later this year.

Jury selection was held Monday and Day 1 of the trial started Tuesday.

Per reports, during opening statements, prosecutors said a white Chrysler 300 with a GPS tracker that came with the car followed Emmett from a nightclub to a fast-food restaurant and to his home before the shooting. They say the car is connected to Jenkins.

Dressed in all black, Emmett’s mother, took the stand and told the court she arrived at her son’s house early the morning of Sept. 23 to drop her granddaughter off. She told the court she called 911 after she saw that the door to her son’s Range Rover was open and his cellphone inside.

She was overcome with emotion during the trial when she was shown pictures of her son and of the video showing his murder.

Emmett, who was 37 when he was killed, grew up in Oak Cliff and attended David W. Carter High School where he excelled in basketball and won a scholarship to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where he is the all-time leading scorer in Texas Tech men’s basketball history.

sister Darra Oliver and mom Regina Oliver
Andre Emmett, sister Darra Oliver and mom Regina Oliver

Emmett played professionally in the NBA and overseas and was a rising star in Ice Cube’s Big 3 league before he was killed.

Just last month during a stop in Dallas, the Big 3 retired his jersey during a special ceremony featuring his mom and two daughters, Kennedy and Zara. During the celebration Oliver thanked Ice Cube, the Big 3 and his former teammates and colleagues.

“He is happy. He is truly happy,” she said during the presentation.

Regina Olivers speaks at her son's Big 3 jersey retirement
Regina Olivers speaks at her son’s Big 3 jersey retirement

Oliver is keeping her son’s memory alive through Oliver Family Charities which she co-founded with her sister and Emmett’s aunt, Karen Oliver-Thomas.

Emmett was always an advocate of children and spent his time uplifting, motivating and encouraging them. He started a foundation prior to his death, Dreams Really Exist (DRE) to help children in need.

“He started talking about this two or three years before he retired from basketball playing, so it was always a conversation with us,” Oliver said last year during the camp.  “Although I’m still sad because he’s gone, this gives my joy because we’re continuing his legacy as far as catering to the children of the community.”

Andre Emmett's mother, Regina Oliver, and his daughters at Big 3 jersey retirement
Andre Emmett’s mother, Regina Oliver, and his daughters at Big 3 jersey retirement
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