Wayde Sims shot of LSU Basketball in Baton Rouge (Video Inside)

An LSU basketball player Wayde Sims shot early Friday Morning and has died.

Wayde Sims, a junior forward and Baton Rouge native, was taken to a hospital with an apparent gunshot wound shortly after midnight and later died due to his injury, according to a news release from the Baton Rouge police department. He was 20 years old.

Police say Wayde Sims shot occurred at approximately 12:25 a.m. on a street just south of Southern University, which is located north of downtown Baton Rouge near a turn in the Mississippi River. The investigation, which is ongoing, classifies Sims’ death as a homicide.

LSU basketball coach Will Wade said in a news conference that he “got the call that you never want to get” early Friday morning and rushed to the hospital, where he was informed of Sims’ death. He relayed the news to his team at 6:30 a.m., when the Tigers had a previously scheduled workout.

“We’re all still devastated and in shock about everything,” Wade told reporters, “but we’re going to support Wayde’s family and we’re going to support our guys and slowly move forward from this.”

Wayde Sims shot

“It is an absolute tragedy,” added LSU athletic director Joe Alleva.

Sims, a 6-6 forward and kinesiology major, started 10 games for LSU last year, averaged 5.6 points and 2.9 rebounds. He grew up in Baton Rouge and was named the Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year following his junior season at University High School. His father, Wayne, also played basketball at LSU.

The university said Friday morning that it has made counselors available to the LSU basketball team and others who knew Sims. Wade described him as always laughing and joking, the player who did a spot-on impression of the coach to the delight of his teammates.

“That’s what makes it so tough for all of us and our team as well: Everybody liked him,” Wade told reporters. “Anybody he came in contact with just loved him, loved his personality. He was just a blast to be around at all times.

Wayde Sims Shot

Nicholas Norman is the founder of Distinct Athlete and one of the preeminent figures in the digital sports industry. Using his extensive background in sports media, he has built Distinct Athlete into one of the largest, most successful independently-owned sports blogs in the country. Nicholas Norman has worked in sports media for over 8 years, beginning with his time as a student at Troy University. His background includes six years working at the Forward Times Newspaper. Nicholas Norman founded DistinctAthlete.com in Jan. 2012.