DALLAS - A former pro- basketball player was murdered overnight on Monday near his Dallas home.
Police say 37-year-old Andre Emmett was shot running away from two men early Monday morning in Old East Dallas.
The Carter High grad was a star at Texas Tech, and he played professionally in the NBA, overseas and most recently in the BIG3 league.
In what was likely his last TV interview, Andre Emmett was excited and hyped after his BIG3 basketball league team's victory in Dallas last August.
"Feels great man. My family. My babies. My homies. The whole city,” he said in the interview. “It was awesome. I've just been grinding every week."
Emmett’s family and friends are now in shock in the wake of his murder.
A passerby discovered Emmett's body before down in the 1800 block of North Prairie Avenue near where his mother lived in a home Emmett owned.
Police say Emmett was approached by two suspects as he sat in his vehicle. Witnesses told police the suspects pulled a gun, and Emmett was shot trying to run from the two suspects. Investigators say the two fled the area in a white Chrysler 300. The father of two was taken to the hospital, but he didn’t make it.
Emmett's family gathered at the home after learning the news early in the morning.
"Basketball was a vehicle that he used to do the things he wanted to do for the community,” said Karen Oliver Thomas, Emmett’s aunt. “This community as a whole has lost a great person."
The former Dallas Carter High School star was 37 years old. He'd played briefly in the NBA as a shooting guard and small forward with the Memphis Grizzlies and New Jersey Nets. But he is perhaps best known as a star player under Bobby Knight for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Emmett’s family shared photos of his recent charitable work on the college campus with his foundation, Dreams Really Exist, or the acronym for his nickname DRE.
“I'm still in disbelief. We're confused. We're hurt,” said Sasha, Emmett’s sister. “I looked up to him a lot, and we were very close. We had just spoke last night.”
Current Texas Tech Basketball Coach Chris Beard says he spoke to him just a few days ago.
“Arguably, the best player in program history and even a better person,” Beard said. “The work he was doing in his hometown of Dallas with his foundation to help kids.”
Basketball legend Nancy Lieberman got to know him well the past few years through the BIG3. She was supposed to pick him up in the morning to take him to an appointment.
"We'd talk for hours on the airplane,” recalled Liberman. “I was so impressed by his vision, the depth of the man he is, his love for his children, how he cared about his family, sharing what he wanted to do philanthropically. He was so dearly loved by so many in and out of basketball.”
Police did gather some witness reports of the potential suspects. They say one of the suspects was a tall thin black male with a red hat. They got into a Chrysler 300 that drove off on Fitzhugh toward Ross around 2:30 a.m.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Dallas Police Department.