Houston Baptist basketball star Darius Lee died of a gunshot wound overnight after a shooting at an early-morning gathering Monday that took place in his hometown of New York, the Houston Baptist program announced Monday. He was 21 years old.
Lee was one of nine individuals who were shot at a gathering in the early morning hours Monday in Harlem. The shooting broke out while filming a rap video at a barbecue, according to CBS News. Lee was the only individual who was fatally shot.
"We are devastated. Darius was a remarkable young man who loved the Lord, his mom, his family, his teammates, his friends and his entire HBU family," Houston Baptist coach Ron Cottrell said in a statement. "We are in shock and cannot wrap our heads around this news. My heart breaks for his mom, his sister and his entire family, and for our basketball team. The only thing we find comfort in right now is knowing where Darius is. He is in the arms of Jesus… we know that as fact. And we will see him again some day."
Lee was a Second Team All-Southland performer as a senior last season after leading the Huskies in scoring and rebounding. He was sixth nationally in steals per game. He averaged 18.2 points per game and had one of the most electric performances of the season last season when he scored 52 points in a quadruple overtime game vs. McNeese State, the most points scored in a Division I game all season.
"As great of a basketball player as he was, he was an even better person," Cottrell said. "I can't even think of basketball right now. I can only think of what a light Darius was during his short time on earth. He was a joy to coach and we loved him so much."
Lee spent the last two seasons at Houston Baptist after a two-year stint at SUNY Sullivan. He was on track to graduate in December with a bachelor's degree, school officials said.