Tyler Honeycutt, a former UCLA Bruins standout who had a brief career in the NBA, died Friday after a shootout with police. Now, his former coach has provided more details on the circumstances leading to his death.
Bort Escoto, who coached Honeycutt in high school and was a friend of the family, says he had become concerned about Honeycutt before his death, according to the Associated Press. Escoto said the troubled 27-year-old had "been going through some things." Honeycutt called Escoto on the day of his death.
"I planned on going to his house to talk, but his mom called me 45 minutes later saying, 'He had a gun and was talking crazy,'" Escoto said. "I told her to call 911."
Escoto said Honeycutt had been calling him recently "and thanking me for all I've done for him." The coach added: "He has been acting very unusual lately, and our conversations would leave me concerned for him."
Honeycutt had been struggling, Escoto said, to adjust to life in Russia, where he was playing professionally.
"It's hard for an L.A. kid to go to Russia, not know the language or surroundings," Escoto said. "I just kept telling him he needed to get out and meet people."
The Sacramento Kings selected Honeycutt with the No. 35 pick in the 2011 draft. He played for Sacramento for two seasons before heading to Europe. A 6'8" small forward, he was first-team All-Pac-10 in 2011 and won a D-League title in 2013.