Reports say former Nigerian basketball player Chinedu Onyeuku has been shot dead after ‘trying to rob a home in Texas with an accomplice’.
It was gathered that the former D’Tigers of Nigeria player, was shot dead in a botched burglary in Texas before Thanksgiving.
Onyeuku, 29, was trying to break into a home in Plano on 21 November and was shot and killed by the homeowner, Police say. Onyeuku had played for the Nigerian team that qualified for this summer’s Olympic Games in London.
According to the Dallas News, Onyeuku and another person allegedly tried to break into a residence on Rio Grande Street in Plano, Texas the night of 21 November.
The homeowner told Plano police that he saw ‘multiple people’ approaching the house. The two apparently entered the residence by breaking a glass patio door. The homeowner shot Onyeuku, killing him instantly. His accomplice ran away without injury. Police are still trying to track the second burglar.
No one inside the home was injured in the burglary. Upon their arrival, EMT workers pronounced him dead at the scene. It is unclear why Onyeuku and his companion were trying to burglarize the residence.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, posted a statement, saying that the 29-year-old athlete played basketball for the team that qualified for the London 2012 Olympics. However, Onyeuku was not on the Olympic roster and did not actually compete.
The statement reads: “His passion for playing with D’Tigers was deep-seated and he will be greatly missed. The federation joins his family and team mates to mourn a departed son, father, husband and great patriot.”
According to online sports records, Onyeuku was born in the Nigerian capital of Lagos in 1983. He moved to the United States at the age of six.
He played college basketball at Illinois State University and then went semi-pro for awhile, playing for the Arlington Bulldogs, in the American Basketball Association. In 2009, he was invited to play for the D’Tigers of Nigeria. It also said that Onyeuku lived in Omaha, Nebraska.