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Colts' Donte Moncrief will help support daughter of former teammate who died

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Indianapolis Colts receiver Donte Moncrief was raised in Raleigh, Mississippi, where his father taught him it was better to give rather than receive.

That's why when he found out his former teammate Zurlon Tipton died after accidentally shooting himself in June, Moncrief, through his grieving, turned his attention to Tipton's daughter Zoe.

Moncrief plans to help support Zoe anyway possible and love her as if she were his own daughter.

Clothes, money. It doesn't matter. The 22-year-old Moncrief will be there.

"That comes from being from the South," Moncrief said. "Wanting to help people and always give back. Like my dad always says, it's better to give than receive. I look at it as if she's my daughter and I want to make sure she's well taken care of. I know that's something he would do for me."

Moncrief said Zoe will be at their Week 1 game against the Detroit Lions at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Moncrief didn't originally want believe the news about Tipton. His good friend, the one he often bowled and played pool with, wasn't gone. The Colts receiver immediately texted Zurlon Tipton's phone. There was no response. It wasn't until Tipton's former girlfriend called Moncrief to tell him about the unfortunate accident.

Moncrief, who was in Mississippi at the time, felt his heart sink. The two had just talked the day before about getting together at Moncrief's place in Indianapolis to play pool.

Moncrief wishes that day would have happened.

"I was with my daughter when I found out," he said. "My daughter had met him for the first time right before he went back to Detroit. Come to find out he's from Detroit and most of my family is from Detroit, too."

Tipton appeared in 16 games over two seasons for the Colts, gaining 38 yards on 15 carries. He was released by the team last December.

Moncrief and Tipton grew close during their two seasons together. Tipton was one of the locker room jokesters, often keeping his teammates loose and with a smile on their faces.

"Our lockers were near each other," Moncrief said. "In the meetings his seat was right in front of mine. He would say things like, 'Look up, you're shining like a light.' We see those spots and me and [T.Y. Hilton] be like, 'Man, wish Tip was still here.'"

Moncrief sees Tipton every time he looks at Zoe or when he glances up in the sky.

"He's still here watching over us," Moncrief said. "He's joking, rapping, singing and walking around with his shirt off like he's cut up. That's just him. He's keeping everything going."