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Former Loyola basketball star found dead in vacant home

By Kim Dacey

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    BALTIMORE, Maryland (WBAL) — Baltimore police are trying to figure out who killed a former Loyola University basketball star.

Jamal Barney, 37, was found dead inside a vacant home Monday in west Baltimore.

Family members reported him missing over the weekend and asked police to do a welfare check. Police discovered Barney’s body inside a vacant home on North Payson Street. His death has been ruled a homicide.

Family members placed balloons outside the home and placed flowers on the doorstep.

One relative, who asked to not be identified, said the loss is devastating.

“This is really a nail through everyone’s heart — everybody; friends, family, everybody,” they said.

Barney was a standout basketball player at Loyola from 2008-11. He still holds several records at the school.

“Basketball was his life. He’d get out here and play with the neighbors,” his family said. “He always looked up to Carmelo Anthony and other greats from around this way.”

Beyond basketball, family members said he was a loving father to two girls.

“He was a loveable kid. He was the type of child you would just want to walk up to and hug,” a relative said.

His family said they were shocked to learn his body was found in a vacant home. They have no idea what happened to him and why, but they’re relying on their faith to help them through.

“Forgiveness is the greatest attribute. We all forgive and have mercy on whoever’s soul. We all forgive,” Barney’s family said.

The Loyola basketball program sent 11 News a statement, saying, “Loyola Athletics and the men’s basketball program are deeply saddened to learn of Jamal Barney’s passing. Our prayers are with his family and friends. Jamal was a tough and extremely talented competitor on the basketball court who also had a big smile and affection for his friends and family.”

Police are still investigating. Anyone with information is asked to contact them at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup.

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