Bryce Dejean-Jones, New Orleans Pelicans guard, shot dead aged 23

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves

New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard Bryce Dejean-Jones has died aged 23. Police say he was fatally shot after breaking down the door to a Dallas apartment.

Sr Cpl DeMarquis Black said in a statement that officers were called early Saturday morning and found the 23-year-old Dejean-Jones collapsed in an outdoor passageway. He was taken to a hospital where he died.

Black says a person living at the apartment was asleep when he heard his door kicked open. The man retrieved a handgun and fired when Dejean-Jones began kicking the bedroom door.

The Pelicans declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding his death, but said in a statement: “It is with deep sadness that the Pelicans organization acknowledges the sudden passing of Bryce Dejean-Jones. We are devastated at the loss of this young man’s life who had such a promising future ahead of him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bryce’s family during this difficult time.”

Dejean-Jones was born and raised in Los Angeles. It wasn’t immediately clear why he was in Dallas.

“Bryce overcame a lot of obstacles to get to this point in his career,” his agent Scott Nichols said. “He was a joy to be around, a talent just turning the corner in his career.”

Dejean-Jones signed with the Pelicans as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa State. He spent time at three colleges – USC, UNLV, and Iowa State – averaging 10.8 points per game over four seasons.

Dejean-Jones was waived by the Pelicans in October but was re-signed to back-to-back 10-day contracts two months later. He signed a two-year deal with the Pelicans in February and finished his rookie season having averaged 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds in 14 games.

“This is a very, very sad and tragic day for everyone that’s a part of the Cyclone basketball family,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said.

Former Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg added in a statement that Dejean-Jones was a “passionate and talented player that lived out his dream of playing in the NBA through hard work and perseverance.”

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