Former Husky basketball star shot

Former Husky basketball star shot

Former Northeastern basketball star Shawn James transferred to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh for the fall semester. But before the nation’s leading shot blocker even stepped on the court for the Dukes, he was involved in a shooting after a campus dance last weekend.

James was one of five members of the Duquesne men’s basketball team shot Sunday morning after an altercation at 2 a.m. following a Black Student Union dance co-sponsored by Duquesne, Carnegie Melon University and the University of Pittsburgh. In an interview with ESPN, James said a girl was “casually talking” to one of the players and her boyfriend started an argument with her about it.

As the teammates walked away, the man fired at them, hitting James in the foot. The bullet did not break any bones and James was treated and released from Mercy Hospital along with Aaron Jackson of Hartford, Conn., a guard who is one of only two returning players from Duquesne’s 3-24 team last season, several media reports said.

Senior guard Bobby Kelly, who was James’ Northeastern teammate for two years, said he and roommate Bennett Davis, a senior forward for the Huskies, spoke to James at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

“He is fine, he’s just trying to figure out what happened,” Kelly said. “He didn’t talk much, he just checked in to tell us he was OK.”

James also talked to former teammate Jose Juan Barea Sunday afternoon. Barea said he contacted James when he heard about the shooting on the news and was relieved to know he was recovering.

Duquesne teammate Sam Ashaolu, of Toronto, who was shot in the head, sustained the worst injuries and remains in critical condition at Mercy Hospital. Stuard Baldonado of Colombia was upgraded to fair condition at Mercy Hospital Monday, but still had a bullet in his body. The bullet went through his abdomen and nipped the third lumbar, causing concern about his spine.

The gunman and the group of people with him were not students, Duquesne President Charles Dougherty said in a statement. Police have not located the man who allegedly fired six to 12 shots at the group of players.

James must sit out the 2006-07 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but will have two years of eligibility beginning in 2007. During his two-year tenure at Northeastern, he was named the 2006 CAA Defensive Player of the Year. He led the nation in blocked shots, averaging 6.5 blocks per game and set the school’s single-season shooting record, shooting 63.3 percent from the floor in 25 games during his freshman campaign. He left Northeastern when coach Ron Everhart announced he was taking the head coaching position at Duquesne in March.

Neither James nor Everhart could be reached for comment.

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