Tragedy struck for Los Angeles Lakers guard Wayne Ellington this past weekend, as his father, Wayne Ellington Sr., was found shot to death at an intersection in Philadelphia on Sunday night.
The Lakers have granted Ellington an indefinite absence from the team, as he and his family attempt to cope with this horror. It is unknown when Ellington will rejoin the team.
Ellington learned the news of his father’s death after the Lakers first win of the season over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night. Ellington finished the contest with 9 points and 5 rebounds.
Ellington released a statement via the Lakers before their game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.
My family and I are devastated by the news of my father’s murder on Sunday night in Philadelphia. We appreciate everyone’s support and ask that you respect the privacy of our family during this very difficult time.
Lakers head coach Byron Scott had this to say about the calamity.
It was just very sad news, obviously, and all of us have to give him space to grieve and deal with this with his family and we’ll welcome him back with open arms when he decides to come back.
Again, this is our livelihood, but it’s still just a game. This thing that’s happening with Wayne is real life. It kind of puts everything in perspective, too.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak offered his condolences via press release.
Our players are upset for their friend and teammate. Additionally, ownership and all Lakers employees are also saddened by this tragedy. Those of us who work with and have gotten to know Wayne have come to know what a wonderful and caring person he is. Our hearts go out to Wayne and his family, as do our thoughts and prayers.
Ellington, 26, was averaging 7.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game off the bench for the Lakers.