Troy Ave is honoring his late friend Ronald 'Banga' McPhatter with The Ronald McPhatter Scholarship fund, according to the BSB rapper's lawyer, John Stella in an exclusive statement to HipHopDX.
The MC born Roland Collins was arrested last month on charges of attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon after ashooting broke out May 25 at New York's Irving Plaza during a T.I. concert. Three people were injured and Banga died in the gunfire. Troy Ave was shown in surveillance footage firing a gun at the venue.
He pled not guilty and, on his Free Troy Ave mixtape, spoke of his innocence and declared what a great friend Banga was. His legal team has said the surveillance video does not tell the whole story of the incident and the rapper was acting in self defense.
Now, Troy Ave has committed $10,000 to New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn, New York, the same school that he, Banga and Ave's little brother attended and played football. Stella tells HipHopDX that the money will be distributed in $2,000 increments each year and the recipients will be chosen by the Utes football program.
'The scholarship honors one of the things Ronald loved most in life, playing sports. And, specifically, New Utrecht football,' Stella says in his statement.
The first recipient of The Ronald McPhatter Scholarship is New Utrecht senior defensive end Gianni Penso, DNAInfo reports. The 18-year-old is planning on playing college football at Pace University, where he will play at linebacker in the fall.
'I just want to thank this family,” Penso said at an award ceremony yesterday to his coaches, Collins and his mother, who helped set up the fund. “Football has taught me a lot, you guys taught me how to be a man, and I’m just so thankful.”
Troy Ave is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment June 22. He is being held without bail and is currently at Rikers Island.