Billy Knight, a former UCLA basketball player, was found dead early Sunday morning. His death was confirmed by the UCLA men’s basketball program in a Twitter post.
“Our hearts are heavy after learning Billy Knight has passed away. We ask that the Bruin family keep Billy’s loved ones in their thoughts during this difficult time.”
*This article will be updated with more information as it becomes available.
Read on to find out what we know so far.
1. His Body Was Found at 2:45am Sunday Morning on a Roadway in Phoenix
Billy Knight’s body was found at 2:45 am on Sunday. He was pronounced dead not long after by the Phoenix Fire Department.
No evidence of foul play has been found in his death.
According to Yahoo Sports, CaHi Sports Journalist Ronnie Flores states that a number of UCLA basketball community members tried to reach out to Knight after he posted the video.
Others have flocked to Twitter to commemorate his death.
Knight was 39. He did not have a wife or girlfriend, as he points out in his video, and he “isolated himself from friends and family members.” In a shaking voice, he adds that he regrets the life he led. “I am Sorry Lord,” he states, before admitting he did not feel he belonged on this Earth.
One person that Knight made clear he was close with is his brother, Eric.
“I know there’s one person who loved me more than anything in the world,” he says. “And that’s my brother. Eric, man… I love you too.”
Along with being a former UCLA player, Knight was a basketball operations assistant for the Northern Arizona Suns of the Developmental G League in the 2016 – 2017 season. The Arizona Suns official statement, issued on Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News, states that they were “deeply saddened by the passing.”
2. He Allegedly Sexually Abused a Child
The outlet also says that in the weeks leading up to his death, Knight was arrested and charged with six felonies for sexual encounters involving a girl under 15. He was charged with multiple counts of sexual conduct with a minor, sexual abuse, and molestation of a child. Court documents obtained by TMZ state that prosecutors say a portion of the abuse took place in the victim’s home and her mother’s bed.
Knight posted a $100,000 bail. He was released from custody in June.
3. An Official Cause of Death Has Not Been Reported
At this point in time, a specific cause of death has not been reported. It will be determined by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner.
Although Knight’s specific cause of death is unclear, he refers to mental illness in his video. “Mental illness is serious. I hear voices in my head constantly. I don’t know where they come from,” he says.
Knight continues, “I just ask God for forgiveness for all the wrong I’ve done.
4. He Says in His Video That He Lived a ‘Life of Sin’
In his chilling apology video, posted the day before he was found dead, Knight says that he lived a sinful life. “I just want to say that I lived a life of sin. I lied, I cheated, and I stole. From many people. I was a taker, and that’s why my life ended up where it is now. Life is not a game. You can’t play around with life. It’s serious. And I wasn’t honest with a lot of people– even my mom, my brother, and my family members.”
From 1997 to 2002, Knight played guard for the Bruins. He averaged 8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game, according to Yahoo Sports. After college, he played in the D-League in France and Japan.
He was not picked in the 2002 NBA draft, but started 33 games in the 2001 to 2002 campaign.
5. This Marks the Second Death of an Ex-Bruin Player This Weeek
Knight’s death marks the second of an ex-Bruin player this week.
Just days ago, 27-year-old Tyler Honeycutt shot himself in the midst of a standoff with police. Honeycutt’s death is currently being investigated as a suicide.
Former coach and family friend Bort Escoto says he had grown increasingly concerned about Honeycutt’s wellbeing before his passing. Speaking to the Los Angeles Daily news, Escoto said that “Honeycutt had been going through some things.”
The AP News reports Escoto as saying, “I planned on going to his house to talk, but his mom called me 45 minutes later saying, ‘He had a gun and was talking crazy… I told her to call 911.”
Los Angeles police promptly arrived and were speaking with Hneycutt when he fired his weapon.
Honeycutt played for UCLA from 2009 to 2011.