What is happening with the black men and black athletes? Seems like every other day we are loosing them. I think it’s time for men mental illnesses to be addressed so that they can start to feel comfortable seeking help.
Former UCLA basketball player Billy Knight was found dead on a Phoenix roadway early Sunday, the second death of an ex-Bruin this week. Knight was 39. Knight’s body was found at 2:45 a.m. Sunday, and he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter by the Phoenix Fire Department. Officials have found no signs of foul play in his death, according to the Phoenix police.
His cause of death will ultimately be determined by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner. The UCLA men’s basketball program confirmed his death in a Twitter post.
UCLA’s basketball program issued a statement saying, “Our hearts are heavy after learning Billy Knight has passed away.”
In the emotional footage, titled “I am Sorry Lord,” Knight says, “I am lost in life and I feel like there is no hope… I just feel like I can’t continue on.”
Knight, who urged people with problems to help, painted a frightening picture of what he was going through leading up to his demise.
“I isolated myself from my family members,” Knight said. “I isolated myself from my friends, and that’s not something you should do. If this happens, you probably have a mental illness. Mental illness is serious. I hear voices in my head constantly, and I don’t know where they come from. I just asked God for forgiveness for all the wrong I’ve done.”
The former Bruin also admitted to denying help when people told him to seek it and spoke about how he felt “like there’s no hope. I felt like I didn’t belong here on earth. My time is up,” Knight said. “I will take my chances. I will be in Heaven or Hell.”
Phoenix police say Knight’s body was found on a roadway early Sunday near downtown and there was no evidence of foul play. Knight, 39, was a guard/forward at UCLA from 1998-2002, averaging 14.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game as a senior. He wasn’t picked in the 2002 NBA draft and played professionally in France and Japan.
Knight was a basketball operations assistant for the Northern Arizona Suns of the developmental G League in the 2016-17 season. The team is affiliated with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Northern Arizona Suns officials issued a statement Tuesday evening saying they were “deeply saddened by the passing.”
Knight is the second former Bruin to die in the past week. On July 7, Tyler Honeycutt was found dead after barricading himself inside a Sherman Oaks residence and having a standoff with police.