He'd only just been named Pac-12's newcomer of the year for his breathtaking freshman performance on the gridiron for the University of Utah when 19-year-old running back Ty Jordan died in what was reportedly an accident involving a gun. Police in Denton, Texas were responding to a call on Christmas Day when they discovered a victim with a single, apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a hospital and later pronounced dead. Per the Salt Lake Tribune, an initial investigation found that the gun discharged accidentally. Reaction to the loss came swiftly, including from Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “Words cannot express the devastation and heartache that our team is feeling right now upon learning of the tragic death of our teammate and brother, Ty Jordan,” he said in a statement, per the AP.
The Utah Jazz basketball team held a moment of silence for Jordan prior to Saturday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Utah running backs coach Kiel McDonald tweeted: "Man I miss you Ty but, I know nothing I can say or do will bring you back because if I could I would. Lord knows I would. Love you boy." The tragedy that took down the promising athlete was the second to hit his family in the last year. Just months before proving himself as a phenom on the field, Jordan's mother died of bone and lung cancer. He told reporters throughout the season that he wished to make her proud. With 597 yards rushing, 11 catches for 126 yards and six touchdowns in his first and only season, he likely accomplished that.
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