Ex-UCLA Basketball Star Billy Knight Found Dead At 39, Player Shared Goodbye Video Hours Before Death
Former UCLA basketball star Billy Knight was discovered dead along the side of a road in Phoenix on Sunday morning. He was 39.
Authorities found no evidence of foul play in Knight’s death.
Knight played for the Bruins from 1998-2002. The team reached the NCAA Tournament all four years he played there as a member of coach Steve Lavin‘s squad.
UCLA Basketball and others shared tributes to Knight on social media Tuesday and Wednesday after the former player’s death was announced.
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. pic.twitter.com/9WssEUnvbY
— UCLA Basketball (@UCLAMBB) July 10, 2018
Sad. Sad. Sad. Rest Easy Billy Knight. Another bruin gone. Another athlete gone. Mental illness IS NOT A JOKE!!! I’m here for EVERYONE who needs to talk. We ALL go through problems. Don’t be AFRAID TO GET HELP!! #awareness #MentalHealthMatters #SpeakUp
— Lorenzo Mata (@RealMataLo14) July 10, 2018
Former Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson, who played alongside Knight at UCLA, paid tribute to him on Instagram with a short video of a memory the pair shared.
Your mom lost her son, your sibling lost his big brother, your nephews lost their uncle Billy, we lost your beautiful light, and your contagious smile! The world didn’t understand your literal rhetoric, and some took advantage of that. It was you who taught me higher frequencies must be ok with being misunderstood! We live in different realms now, but our energies will always be connected! I love you more than words can ever define! Forever my brother! Forever illuminated! Rest In Paradise BK3 corner 3! -love ej #BruinsBrotherhood #BruinsLegend
Knight is the second former Bruins basketball player to die in the last week. On Friday, Tyler Honeycutt — who also played for the Sacramento Kings — died at 27 following a standoff with police in Los Angeles during which he shot himself.
Although no official cause of death has been determined for Knight, one video hints at a possible suicide. Just one day before he was found dead, the former player recorded and shared a morbid, six-minute clip called “I am Sorry Lord” in which he heartbreakingly says he feels like he does not want to live anymore.
“I just feel like I don’t belong here on Earth,” Knight says in the video, visibly emotional. “So my time is up.”
Knight also stressed in the clip that people who feel or have ever felt like him should seek help. The former UCLA standout also played basketball in France and Japan.