Ozell Jones

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Ozell Jones, a 6-foot-11 center who played on the Wichita State basketball team that reached the Elite Eight in 1981, was killed by a gunshot on Thursday in Lancaster, Calif.

The Los Angeles Daily News reported Monday that LA County Sheriff's Department homicide detectives are investigating.

Jones, 45, played two seasons at WSU before being ruled ineligible by the NCAA late in the 1980-81 season because of a irregularity with his high school transcript. He didn't play in the Shockers' 1981 NCAA run, then transferred to Cal State-Fullerton.

Joining the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, he averaged 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in the 1984-85 season, then played briefly the next season for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jones, originally from Long Beach, Calif., ran a big and tall men's clothing store in LA, one of his sisters told the Daily News. He is survived by his wife, Daphney; his mother and three sisters.

For more, check Wednesday's Eagle.
Published in The Wichita Eagle on Sept. 12, 2006
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