Los Angeles Laker Kyle Kuzma paid respects to late University of Utah athlete Lauren McCluskey with his shoes Saturday night.
McCluskey was murdered on Monday night at the university’s Salt Lake City campus. The 21-year-old had been on the school’s track team, where she competed in the multi-events and high jump. In the classroom, McCluskey maintained a 3.77 GPA.
Having played on Utah’s basketball team himself, Kuzma chose to pay his respects to the late student during his game against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. The 23-year-old Laker’s blue-gray Nike basketball sneakers had “R.I.P. Lauren McCluskey” written on the side. The message appeared to have been written by Kuzma himself with a permanent marker.
The Lakers lost to the Spurs by a score of 110-106, falling to 2-4 on the season. The power forward scored 15 points in the loss. It is unclear whether he plans to honor McCluskey throughout the season.
Kuzma was not the first NBA star to pay respect to McCluskey through his on-court footwear. Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell sported a pair of red Adidas sneakers with the slain runner’s name emblazoned on them Oct. 24.
McCluskey was reportedly killed by an ex-boyfriend, who allegedly had threatened to post compromising photos of her online. The track star had repeatedly contacted authorities to detail these threats prior to her death.
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