George Floyd's close friends prepare to say goodbye

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- George Floyd will be laid to rest next Tuesday in Houston where he grew up, but for Floyd's closest friends, the only place to remember him is in the heart of Houston's historic Third Ward.

On the corner of Nalle and Winbern in Third Ward, there is a store that is still the neighborhood meeting spot. The other side of the street is Cuney Homes, the public housing project where Floyd and his friends grew up. The other side of the street no longer has a house, but the porch of Floyd's mom's house is still visible.

"This is where George Floyd comes from," said long-time friend, Eddy Barlow.

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Both Barlow and Floyd played basketball at nearby Yates High School. Barlow would go on to play professionally in several European leagues before returning to Houston.

"Floyd was (a) role model for all of us," Barlow said. "Number 99, 88, when we heard that, we got inspiration to want to be like him."

Cal Wayne is another long-time friend.

As a Houston rapper, Wayne featured Floyd in many of his music videos, focusing on their life experiences growing up in the Third Ward.

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"He really was a good dude," said Wayne. "He stands for God. He was a big teddy bear."

Wayne and another childhood friend, 'Poboy,' will now be pallbearers at Floyd's funeral.

"This is Floyd Lane right here," said Poboy, gesturing to the street corner where Floyd's friends gather daily. "In the projects, everyone (sticks) together."

Floyd will be remembered at three different events. On Thursday, a memorial service will be held in Minneapolis. On Saturday, a service will be held in North Carolina where Floyd was born. Next week, there will be a visitation in Houston on Monday, followed by a funeral on Tuesday.
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