Former Cyclone Men’s Basketball Player Dies After Shooting
A player who helped Iowa State to the Big 12 Championship, and just spent his rookie season in the NBA, has died after being shot.
Bryce Dejean-Jones, who was a member of the New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA, had been shot in the abdomen. His agent, Scott Nichols, has confirmed his death to ESPN.
Dejean-Jones was reportedly shot early Saturday morning after breaking into a Dallas apartment. Dallas Morning News reports Dejean-Jones kicked in the front door of an apartment at approximately 3:20 this morning. The man asleep inside was awakened and grab his handgun and "called out." There was no response. Police then say Dejean-Jones kicked in the bedroom door and the man shot him. Police tell the Dallas News Dejean-Jones ran from the apartment and "collapsed in the breezeway." He was transported to a local hospital, where he died.
ESPN reports that an email sent to residents of the apartment complex where the shooting occurred said the man, who had not been identified as Dejean-Jones at that time, was "believed to be breaking into the apartment of an estranged acquaintance [but] inadvertently broke into the wrong apartment."
ESPN says sources have told them the former Cyclones player was in Dallas for his daughter's birthday and that he had had a disagreement with the girl's daughter before the shooting happened. According to the Dallas Morning News, the apartment Dejean-Jones broke into was directly below that of his girlfriend.
Dejean-Jones, a Los Angeles native, played for Iowa State during the 2014-15 season after graduating from UNLV a year earlier. He helped lead Iowa State to its 4th straight NCAA Tournament, a 25-9 record, and a Big 12 Title. During that season, he averaged 10.5 points per game, good for 4th on the team.
Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm released this statement via Iowa State's Sports Information Department: "This is a very, very sad and tragic day for everyone that's a part of the Cyclone Basketball family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Bryce's family at this difficult time. I also ask that you keep Bryce's current and former teammates and coaches in your prayers as well."
Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg, who coached Dejean-Jones in Ames said, "We are deeply saddened to learn the tragic news about Bryce. I'm grateful that our paths crossed in this life. Bryce was a passionate and talented player that lived out his dream of playing in the NBA through hard work and perseverance. It's an incredibly sad day for me and all of Iowa State University. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bryce's family."
Dejean-Jones was undrafted in the NBA but ended up on the New Orleans Pelicans roster this winter as part of two 10-day contracts. He signed a three-year contract in February and started 11 of 14 games before surgery for a broken wrist sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Bryce Dejean-Jones was 23.