Two Emanuel AME victims' families channel grief through sports

VIDEO: Two Emanuel AME victims' families channel grief through sports
The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton's son Chris Singleton plays baseball at Charleston Southern University. (Source: Live 5)
The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton's son Chris Singleton plays baseball at Charleston Southern University. (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Many of the families of the victims of the Charleston church shooting channeled their grief into something positive in the 12 months since the killings.

Sports played that role for the children of two of the victims.

The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton's son Chris Singleton plays baseball at Charleston Southern University. The Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor's daughters both played college volleyball.

"Sometimes you get to that moment, when your mind just kind of wanders, and you wonder, wow, this really happened, somebody could really do something like that," Gracyn Middleton said.

She was in the courtroom as the man accused of shooting and killing her mother, the Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor, faced a judge for the first time.

"I don't even know how to describe it, but it's like being in the room with your worst enemy," she said.

While family members of some of the victims publicly expressed their forgiveness, it's a feeling Kaitlin Middleton is still working on.

"I don't think I was ready to forgive him just quite yet," Kaitlin said. "If my mom was alive, she would have forgave him, but we're still a work in progress. I think I'm still working towards forgiving him"

Chris Singleton's mother, the Rev. Sharonda Coleman Singleton, was also killed that night. Chris has leaned on baseball, and his teammates, to get him through.

Less than a week after burying his mother, he returned to the field.

"Well, people were saying that I need to go ahead and do the things that I would do before," he said. "It''s like a new normal is what they were saying. Baseball was what I was doing before. So I came back out here to give it a shot."

In the month after the shooting, college baseball coaches from across the Lowcountry came together for a camp dedicated to his mother.

"Love is always stronger than hate...so if we just love the way my mom would the hate wont be anywhere near close to the hate," he said.

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