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ETBU reveals statue honoring former Tiger Football players

November 9, 2019

East Texas Baptist University unveiled the “My Brother’s Keeper” bronze statue before the Tiger Football game on Saturday, November 9 at Ornelas Stadium. The statue was commissioned in memory of the lives of two freshmen Tiger Football players, Darrian "D.J." McClintock, Jr., and Norvontre "Tre" Harrison, who lost their lives during a tragic accident in April of 2016.

“We reflect on the lives of two young men, who will always be a part of the fabric of this institution,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “We reflect and we mourn, but we celebrate their eternal life with Jesus. D.J. and Tre are in the presence of our Lord Jesus, and now their presence and legacy will forever live on at Ornelas Stadium.”

Family members of both McClintock and Harrison returned to ETBU in April of 2017, for a memorial service held on the one year anniversary of the boys’ passing where Dr. Blackburn announced the plans to have the bronze statue made in their honor.

“I was very excited and surprised to learn about the statue," D.J.’s dad Darrian McClintock said during the memorial service. "That's a good way to remember them and the school here is truly like a family, that's no lie."

A plaque at the foot of the statue reads scripture from 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we out to lay down our lives for our brothers.” D.J. and Tre’s legacy of brotherly love will stand, arm in arm, at the top of Ornelas Stadium, watching over their brothers and fellow Tigers on the football field.

"It really touched me because at the end of the day, I want him to be remembered and this is a way to remember that April 28, 2016 was a day that changed our lives forever," Tre's mother Norvetta Harrison of Shreveport said. "It feels like when ETBU plays football, Tre and D.J. are carrying them and will be there with them."

Although the boys’ presence has been greatly missed around campus and on the football field since that tragic day in 2016, their legacy of brotherly love and their memories will forever remain present in the minds and hearts at East Texas Baptist. 

“The loss of D.J. and Tre brought our team to another dimension of togetherness and playing for one another. We were playing for two of our brothers that what would have done anything for just one more play,” then Tiger Football teammate and now ETBU Assistant Football Coach Travis Danford (17’) said. “Now as a coach, I tell my guys all of the time to not take a single day for granted and to make the most out of every opportunity they are blessed with.”