Nigerian basketball player killed while 'burglarizing a house'

alt
Chinedu Onyeuku, Former Nigerian National Basketball Player Shot Dead While Robbing A Home In TexasA former member of the Nigerian national basketball team was shot and killed last week while breaking into a Plano residence, police said Wednesday.

Chinedu Onyeuku, 29, was pronounced dead at the scene on the 1500 block of Rio Grande Street. His shooter said he saw Onyeuku and another unidentified man break his glass patio door and try to enter his home. The other burglar ran away after Onyeuku was shot, police said.

Plano police spokesman David Tilley said that “multiple people” were in the residence at the time of the shooting. No one inside, including the shooter, was hurt.

Onyeuku was born in Lagos, but moved to the United States when he was six. He played college basketball at Illinois State University and then had a short semi-pro career, including a stop on the Arlington Bulldogs of the American Basketball Association. Plano police listed his hometown as Omaha.

A statement from the Nigeria Basketball Federation said Onyeuku played for the Nigerian team that qualified for the 2012 Olympics during a tournament in Venezuela. He was not on the Olympic roster, however.

“[Onyeuku's] passion for playing with D’Tigers was deep-seated and he will be greatly missed,” the statement said. “The federation joins his family and team mates to mourn a departed son, father, husband and great patriot.”

Police said the burglary and shooting is still being investigated and does not appear to be random. The incident happened around 3 a.m. on Nov. 21, but investigators waited to release details until Wednesday, saying that they needed to collect some “critical information” before it went public.

alt