The death of a former Morgan State University basketball star over the weekend still has many reeling.
Blake Bozeman, who played for the university between 2011 to 2015, was shot and killed at a nightclub in Washington, D.C., Saturday night.
The shooter is still on the loose.
For former teammates and former coaches, it’s still hard to accept what happened at Cru Lounge on H Street. They say he had an impact on and off the court.
“He wasn’t in a spot that he wasn’t supposed to be in, wasn’t doing anything he wasn’t supposed to be doing,” said friend Lenjo Kilo. “That could’ve been any one of us that just go out for a good time. To lose your life like that is unfathomable.”
The Metropolitan Police Department said Bozeman, along with three other people, were shot minutes before midnight at the nightclub. Bozeman died after being taken to the hospital.
Kilo and Bozeman played together on a club basketball team during high school. He said his former teammate was wise beyond his years.
“Whenever you’d be around him, talk to him … you might leave with some gems of wisdom. He was a very, very fun-loving guy. I’m gonna miss him,” Kilo said.
Cedric Blossom played with Bozeman from 2012 to 2014 at Morgan State. Blossom said when he first heard about what happened, it was like losing a brother.
“I met him when he was a young man in undergrad. I was able to see him just grow into a father, into an even better person, a human being,” he said.
Blossom was a year younger than Bozeman, and he said their competitiveness is what truly bonded them.
“Neither of us like to lose, so whether we were on the court or we’re playing games [off the court], we just had a connection,” he said.
While at Morgan State, Bozeman was coached by his father, Todd Bozeman. He finished his career as number two on the university’s all-time minutes leaderboard, as well as number three in three-pointers made.
In a statement, the university said: “Our family was an extension of his and he was a shining example of what it means to be a student-athlete.”
Nima Omidvar coached Blake Bozeman for a year at Paul VI Catholic High School in Virginia. Omidvar now is an assistant men’s basketball coach at Coastal Carolina University.
While it’s been more than a decade since he coached Blake Bozeman, Omidvar said the two kept in touch through social media and texting.
Omidvar said he admired Blake Bozeman’s success as an entrepreneur and in his community. One way Blake Bozeman did this was by helping student athletes with their careers after they stop playing.
“He was as good of an example of someone that was successful on the court, but also equally — if not more successful — off the court. I think there’s a lot of people that looked at what he was achieving and that motivated them in a positive way.”
There is a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. Police have identified as suspect as a man standing at 5 feet, 7 inches, and was wearing a white/cream sweater and black hat.