Former Taft High, USC Basketball Player Bryce Dejean-Jones Fatally Shot
New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones, a Los Angeles native who rose to local basketball stardom at Taft High and played a season at USC, was shot and killed after allegedly breaking down the door of an apartment in Dallas.ESPN reports that around 3:20 a.m., the resident of an apartment had been asleep, and was awoken when someone kicked open the front door and entered the apartment. The resident called out to the intruder and retrieved a handgun, and didn't receive an answer.
Then, the bedroom door was kicked in, and the resident fired his gun, hitting the intruder, who collapsed in the apartment building's breezeway. He was not identified as Dejean-Jones until he was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead. Police say the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
The L.A. Times reports the 23-year-old received the John R. Wooden High School Player of the Year Award winner as a senior at Taft. That year, he led the school to the third round of the Division I state playoffs, averaging 16.9 points and 7.5 rebounds throughout the season.
Dejean-Jones was a rookie with the Pelicans this past season. He played for three different college teams: Iowa State, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and USC for his first year. Deadspin reports Dejean-Jones had a few run-ins with the law, and had some disciplinary issues while playing ball in college. But, as Deadpsin dutifully notes, things had been looking up for him: after going undrafted by the NBA after college, he was signed to a 3-year contract with the Pelicans three months ago, and in 14 games averaged 5.6 points and 3.4 assists.
In a statement, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, "Bryce inspired countless people with his hard work and perseverance on his journey to the NBA, and he had a bright future in our league."
L.A. Clippers guard Chris Paul offered his condolences on Twitter:
As did former UCLA Bruin and current Minnesota Timberwolf Shabazz Muhammad,