The basketball court is busy in Bristol's Rockwell Park, where Aaron Hernandez used to play as a boy.
"He actually played more basketball and baseball than football," said Gregory Lamboy, a Bristol man who said he used to be close to Hernandez's older brother, DJ, who now coaches at Iowa.
"I remember Aaron when he had blueberry Slurpee on his face," Lamboy said. "He's a good kid. I don't think he means any harm to anybody. Quite frankly, honestly, I think he doesn't have anything to do with it."
Hernandez has been implicated by reporters in a Massachusetts murder, where his mansion was searched Tuesday. The New England Patriots tight end also faces a lawsuit from a convicted East Hartford drug dealer who claims he lost an eye in Florida after Hernandez allegedly shot him in the face. Hernandez and his lawyer have no comment.
Lamboy, who's done time in jail himself, said Hernandez suffered a real blow when his father, Dennis Hernandez, died in 2006.
"His Dad was his idol," Lamboy said. "I know his father's looking down on him right now, and I just pray for him and everybody in the city of Bristol to just leave it alone."