BALTIMORE - Former Loyola men's basketball star Jamal Barney was found dead inside a vacant home Monday afternoon in West Baltimore.
Barney, 37, was reported missing earlier in the day before police responded around 4:30 p.m. to a house in the 500 block of North Payson Street.
Officers gained entry into the house and found Barney dead with signs of trauma to the body.
His death has been ruled a homicide.
"Receiving the news was extremely hard," said Tina Queen, a family friend.
Prior to the discovery of Barney's body, his ex-wife posted a flyer on social media stating that nobody had seen or heard from him for nine days.
Police say Barney was reported missing on October 1.
Barney grew up in Baltimore and attended Southwestern High School before eventually playing two seasons of basketball at Loyola University. He was the Greyhounds' leading scorer in both of those seasons.
Queen says Barney was like her son.
"I was there when he walked across that stage at Loyola, not with one degree, but with two degrees," Queen said. "That's Jamal. He persevered through a lot of stuff and I want him to be remembered for that."
In a statement to WJZ, Barney's ex-wife says he was much more than a basketball player, and that he was a wonderful person and a wonderful father.
"The world lost a wonderful person," she said.
"His dash, you know that dash in between the day you were born until the day you leave this earth? His dash means a lot," Queen said. "It's how you live that dash that people remember."
Barney started off his college career at Providence before transferring to Loyola.
He led the Greyhounds with 18.1 points per game in the 2008-09 season. The following season, Barney scored 12.9 points per game, and 10.3 points per game his senior season.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup.
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