A former Nigerian national basketball player was shot dead in a botched burglary in Texas before Thanksgiving, it has been revealed.
Chinedu Onyeuku, 29, was trying to break into a home in Plano on November 21 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 November 21.
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 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 age 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, a national squad in Nigeria. It also said that Onyeuku lived in Omaha, Nebraska.
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