Holidays getting better for Labrenthia Murdock and family
By Tina Akouris firstname.lastname@example.org December 24, 2012 7:10PM
Labrenthia Murdock. | Supplied photo
Updated: January 26, 2013 6:16AM
It’s a hard thing for Labrenthia Murdock to forget.
She remembers the date, where she was when she heard the news and pretty much everything about the incident and what happened in the months afterward.
She forever will be affected by the shooting death of her older brother, Anthony Murdock.
Labrenthia Murdock, a Lewis University senior basketball player, is doing better now, considering it is the holiday season, but the death of her older brother is something that never will leave her.
“I remember everything,” she said. “I remember every little detail.”
Murdock was sitting at home in Round Lake when she and her family got the call that Anthony had been shot on the South Side during a robbery attempt. It was Nov. 4, 2008.
“I remember the date because President Obama had just been elected,” she said.
Murdock said her brother had been out with a group of friends when they were held up and, as he was fleeing the scene, Anthony Murdock was shot once in the back. He suffered severe internal damage and internal bleeding. Anthony Murdock was just 22 years old.
Then came the trial, which was another ordeal Murdock and her five other siblings had to endure.
“There was a jury trial and it took a couple of days,” Murdock said. “It was really hard, because the guy wasn’t remorseful at all. He almost seemed happy about it.
“We didn’t have to testify, but my mom did say a few words,” Murdock said. “It was just really, really hard.”
The gunman received a sentence of 66 years to life in prison. Labrenthia Murdock was just 17 years old and had to look at her brother’s killer in the face.
A basketball life
Anthony Murdock played basketball at Round Lake High School, but he knew his sister probably would have a better basketball future than he would and he encouraged her to hone her skills.
“He always said I had to use basketball to make it out (of Round Lake),” Murdock said.
Murdock wanted to be like her older brother. They used to go to a park in Round Lake, where Anthony would help his sister learn the game and improve.
“I always wanted to play on the same court as him,” Murdock said.
After Anthony’s death, Murdock knew she had to carry on her brother’s dream for her. She accepted an offer from Lewis, and it seems to have been the perfect fit.
“My mom and I really liked the campus. I can come home whenever I want,” Murdock said. “I like the coach and the team and the small classes. I’m not just another face here.”
Murdock has started all eight games for the Flyers (7-1) this season and is shooting 44 percent from the floor, 48 percent from three-point range and is averaging 10.1 points per game. Murdock, a 5-foot-9 guard, also has helped the Flyers to a four-game win streak.
Her coach, Lisa Carlsen, is most proud of Murdock’s maturation since coming to the Romeoville campus four years ago. It’s something that has made Murdock one of the team’s leaders.
Carlsen said Anthony Murdock isn’t exactly a subject that comes up in conversation much, if at all.
“She doesn’t talk often around me about her brother, but I don’t think she’s not open about talking about him around her friends,” Carlsen said. “I don’t know if certain times are worse for her. I can imagine around the holidays, it’s tough.”
A return to normal
The holidays are getting easier for the Murdock family. At first, Thanksgiving and Christmas were extraordinarily difficult. Murdock said her mother refused to cook holiday dinners and “just didn’t care,” perhaps treating it just as another day on the calendar.
Things now are different around the Murdock house. Labrenthia is in her final year at Lewis and will graduate with a marketing degree. She aspires to play basketball overseas, or even be an assistant coach somewhere.
Murdock has a photo album devoted to her brother that she likes to peruse through, and the family visits Anthony’s grave site every year on his birthday.
“At first I couldn’t talk about it and it was hard for my mom to talk about it,” Murdock said.
And what may be easing the pain even more than time is Anthony Murdock’s 5-year old son, who is a welcome sight at family holiday celebrations.
“My mom is a lot happier now, and that helps,” Murdock said. “She’s not as sad ... now we’re back to normal.
“It gets easier with time and you just have to have trust in God,” Murdock said. “I’ve got me and my family.”