Sports Outside the Beltway

Five Duquesne Basketball Players Shot

Five Duquesne basketball players were shot by a man they tried to calm down at a dance.

Five Duquesne basketball players were shot on campus early Sunday, leaving at least one critically injured, after some of them tried to calm a man who apparently had been disruptive at a dance, officials said. Police searched for the gunman, and the downtown school stepped up its round-the-clock police protection with armed university police officers guarding dormitories and other buildings.

Two players had been walking near a dormitory when they encountered a man who apparently had been disruptive at a student union dance, authorities said. The players attempted to pacify him and walked away but were shot. Players who rushed to their aid were also shot.

In critical condition was forward Sam Ashaolu of Toronto, a transfer from Lake Region State College and a cousin of former Houston Rockets star Hakeem Olajuwon. Ashaolu was shot in the head, a Duquesne source told’s Andy Katz. His parents were traveling to Pittsburgh on Sunday to be with their son.

In serious condition was Stuard Baldonado of Colombia, a transfer from Miami Dade College who was considered the school’s best recruit. Baldonado was shot in the elbow and the bullet entered his body, the Duquesne source told Katz.

Also hospitalized was Kojo Mensah, a guard from New York City who averaged nearly 17 points last season at Siena College before transferring. He was believed shot in the shoulder, but his condition was not released.

Treated and released were Shawn James of New York City, the nation’s leading shot blocker last season at Northeastern University before transferring to Duquesne; and Aaron Jackson of Hartford, Conn., a guard who is one of only two returning players from Duquesne’s 3-24 team last season.

James, an NBA propsect expected to be Duquesne’s top player when he becomes eligible in the 2007-08 season, was shot in the foot but no bones were broken. Jackson was shot in the hand.


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