Bryce Dejean-Jones, who showed bright potential for the Pelicans after a midseason call-up from the NBA Development League, has died at age 23.
Dejean-Jones died from a gun shot wound in his abdomen late Friday. Dallas police released a statement that Dejean-Jones was shot breaking into an apartment, per the Dallas Morning News.
Here is the full text of the police statement: “On May 28, 2016, at approximately 3:20 a.m., Dallas officers responded to the 2500 block of Bennett Avenue regarding a shooting. Upon arrival officers found one individual had been shot. The resident of the apartment reported that an individual had kicked open the front door and entered his apartment. The resident, who was asleep in the bedroom, heard the individual enter and retrieved an handgun. He stated he called out to the individual, but was not answered. As the individual kicked the bedroom door, the resident fired his gun. The individual left the apartment and collapsed in the breezeway. The individual was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. This offense is documented on case number 127685-2016 and Dallas Police Homicide is conducting an investigation.”
Dejean-Jones played college basketball at Southern California, UNLV and Iowa State before going undrafted in 2015.
The Los Angeles Times reported in 2011 that Dejean-Jones broke a USC teammate’s nose and was pushed out of the program by coach Kevin O’Neill for on- and off-court incidents. He was suspended for his final game at UNLV before transfering again. Then he was arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana charge that was dropped while at Iowa State.
But he played well enough in the D-League to earn a midseason call-up with the Pelicans, then a starting job for the injury-plagued team. The 6-6 guard averaged 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds in 19.9 minutes over 14 NBA games (11 starts) before a wrist injury ended his season in February. But he impressed with his combination of 3-point shooting and defensive ability, which led to him signing his first NBA contract earlier this year.
The Pelicans released this 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.”