Giants encourage Ballentine to be with loved ones instead of attending minicamp

Washburn defensive back Corey Ballentine runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(WIBW) - Two days after New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that former Washburn star Corey Ballentine would attend the team's rookie minicamp this weekend, the organization is now encouraging its sixth-round draft pick to stay home.

In light of last weekend's shooting that injured him and killed his former teammate and close friend Dwane Simmons, the team sent out a statement Wednesday morning to announce it is telling Ballentine to spend time with his loved ones instead of reporting on Thursday for the weekend minicamp.

"We have been in communication with Corey since Sunday," the Giants said. "We have encouraged Corey to stay in Kansas this week to be with his family and friends as they mourn the loss and celebrate the life of his good friend and teammate Dwane Simmons. Corey will be with us when it’s appropriate."

The Shawnee Heights alumnus is also recovering from a gunshot wound to the glute, as the team said he was released from the hospital in the late afternoon/early evening on Sunday. The team and Washburn have fully expected a complete recovery.

As Ballentine and the rest of the university community mourn, Washburn held a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night to honor and remember Simmons. The university has also verified two fundraisers to help support the former Ichabod defensive back's family.