A former Western Kentucky University basketball player was fatally shot outside a nightclub near Atlanta on Thursday morning, according to police.
Cliff Dixon, 32, was shot multiple times around 1:15 a.m. Thursday in a parking lot outside of the SL Lounge on Buford Highway, according to a news release from the Chamblee Police Department.
Chamblee is about 15 miles northeast of Atlanta.
Dixon had just arrived when he was shot, police said. First responders administered aid, and Dixon was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Dixon was celebrating his 32nd birthday, according to WNKY 40. He had posted about his birthday celebration on Instagram Wednesday.
The suspect fled the scene and Chamblee Police investigators are “actively working the case and following up on all available leads,” according to the release.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Chamblee Police Department at 770-986-5005 and ask to speak with Lt. Chris Newberry or contact Atlanta Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.
Dixon, a Maryland native, transferred from a junior college to WKU with high expectations before the 2009-10 season. He was dismissed from the program midway through the 2010-11 season after a violation of team rules.
Dixon went on to play overseas, including with clubs in Mexico, Austria and Brazil.
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.
— WKU Hilltopper Basketball (@WKUBasketball) March 21, 2019
NBA superstar and Golden State Warriors player Kevin Durant referred to Dixon as his “adopted brother,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Durant’s mother, Wanda Durant, took in Dixon when he was about 16 years old, according to The Oklahoman.
Wanda Durant tweeted Thursday that her 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”.
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 pic.twitter.com/QuIRt0hIIu
— Wanda Durant (@MamaDurant) March 21, 2019
Kevin Durant has yet to publicly comment on Dixon’s death and scored 15 points for the Warriors Thursday night in a win over the Indiana Pacers.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN before the game he hoped Durant being on the court would help him deal with the tragedy.
“I think for most of us who play this game or coach this game, this is kind of our refuge,” Kerr said before the game. “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.”