By: Laura Kuhen
Posted: Sept. 28, 2010 12:00 pm
Friends, family and 29 South Carolina Gamecock football players gathered at the Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral in Austell, Ga. Monday morning to celebrate the life of Gamecock great Kenny McKinley. McKinley, drafted by the Denver Broncos, was found dead in his Colorado home last week of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Many current and former Gamecock and Bronco teammates attended McKinley's funeral but others had to stay behind.
Senior fullback and Gamecock team captain Patrick DiMarco says he's still trying to deal with McKinley's death. DiMarco says it was tough to handle initially, but after a couple of days the team was able to think of the situation in a positive light.
"Instead of maybe looking down upon it, let's look up on this... let's play for Kenny," said DiMarco.
He says McKinley was a great friend and great competitor. There is one thing he'll never forget about him.
"I just remember his smile and I remember seeing him everyday at practice whether he was tired or hurt or whether he was happy," DiMarco said. "He was always had the biggest smile on his face. He was always ready to go."
DiMarco hopes he and his fellow Gamecocks will continue to play hard with the memory of McKinley propelling them through the rest of the season. The team will wear McKinley's Gamecock #11 on their helmets in his memory for the rest of the season.
The #19 Gamecocks will take on the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide at Williams Brice Stadium on Saturday, October 9th.