Cliff Dixon, a close friend of Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant, was shot and killed early Thursday morning. Chamblee, Georgia Police spokesperson Michael Beller reported that Dixon was at the SL Lounge celebrating his 32nd birthday. He added that he had arrived just before the incident. First responders aided the former Western Kentucky University basketball player but he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. He had posted on Instagram the day before about the celebration.


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The suspect fled the scene but Chamblee Police investigators are “actively working the case and following up on all available leads.”

Dixon transferred to WKU from a junior college before the 2009-2010 season. Expectations were high for the Maryland native, but he was dismissed from the team for violating its rules during the 2010-2011 season. Dixon went out of the country to play professionally, joining teams in Mexico, Austria and Brazil.

After news of his death broke, WKU tweeted out: “We’re sending our condolences today to the family, friends and loved ones of former Hilltopper forward Cliff Dixon (2009-11), who passed away early this morning.”

Durant often referred to Dixon as his “adopted brother.” During his famed acceptance speech for his 2013-2014 MVP award, KD thanked Dixon as well as his mother.

Dixon was described as a Durant’s “adopted brother” and someone who his mother, Wanda Pratt, “took in” at the age of 16. She mourned his death on Thursday, tweeting: “The Durant family extends our deepest condolences & prayers to Cliff’s mother, siblings, family & friends. Our family was an extension of his & we shared wonderful memories. His transition is an incredible loss for all of us who loved him, he will be missed dearly #CliffDixon RIP.”

Durant has yet to comment on Dixon’s passing. On Thursday night, he scored 15 points in a win over the Indiana Pacers. Before the game Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he hoped Durant would be helped by being on the court. I think for most of us who play this game or coach this game, this is kind of our refuge. Being able to play, being able to immerse yourself in a game. Kind of the best way to deal with something that’s tragic, something difficult. I know Durant will be playing with a heavy heart tonight, and I hope he can lose himself in the game and find some joy in the game itself.”

Below is Durant’s MVP speech:

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