NBA player fatally shot breaking into wrong apartment, police say

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The parents of New Orleans Pelicans guard and former USC player Bryce Dejean-Jones speak about his death. (KABC)

The parents of NBA rookie and former University of California player Bryce Dejean-Jones, who was fatally shot in Dallas, Texas, spoke Saturday about the tragic series of events that led to his death.

Dejean-Jones had played his first year in the NBA with the New Orleans Pelicans this season. He was planning to celebrate his daughter's first birthday on Saturday in Dallas, but a gunshot ended the life and NBA career he was building.

Police said the 23-year-old kicked in an apartment door, and the man inside woke up, grabbed his gun and fired. Dejean-Jones died at a Dallas hospital.

His family said the basketball player was in Texas visiting his girlfriend and their daughter. According to his agent, Dejean-Jones thought his girlfriend had locked him out, but he was on the floor below and banged on the wrong door.

His parents, Franchesca and K.C. Jones of Inglewood, were coping with the unexpected death of their son.

He started playing basketball when he was 5 years old, collecting trophies over the years. He played at USC, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Iowa State University before playing in the NBA.

His mother said Dejean-Jones had other goals besides basketball.

"Finish his degree at UNLV, and had pursued his master's degree at Iowa State and had plans to complete that, you know, over the next couple of summers on the off-season," Franchesca Jones said.

The Pelicans released a statement saying the team is devastated, and that Dejean-Jones had a promising future. The 6'6" guard started 11 of 14 games and averaged 5.6 points.

USC also released a statement about the former player's passing. The statement read in part: "...It is tragic that he lost his life at such a young age while living his dream of playing in the NBA..."

His parents said he was a loving son and big brother who cared about his community.

"He wanted to make his community stand up and be better - that was Bryce," said his father, K.C. Jones. "Bryce was just fabulous. He was a loving person and always giving."

Related Topics:
newssportsshootingNBANew Orleans PelicansUSC Trojansu.s. & worldTexas
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