The Death of Former UCLA Hoops Star Tyler Honeycutt Was a Shock to Family and Friends

Tyler Honeycutt is a name that the UCLA community will always remember. After playing two years at UCLA, Honeycutt had a brief stint in the NBA and played overseas.

In 2018, Honeycutt died in a tragic way that impacted his family, friends, and the UCLA community. His death was shocking to many, and many people did not know what Honeycutt was dealing with behind closed doors.

A look at Tyler Honeycutt’s basketball career

Honeycutt was a native of California and attended Sylmar High School. During his high school career, he was one of the top basketball prospects in the country. He decided to stay in his home state for college and attend UCLA. During his freshman year, he was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team. He led the team in rebounding at 6.5 per game. The next season he was named the team’s co-MVP and was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection after averaging 12.8 points per game and led the conference in blocks with 2.1 per game. After playing two years at UCLA, he declared for the NBA draft.

The Sacramento Kings drafted Honeycutt in the second round of the 2011 NBA draft. The small forward made his NBA debut on December 31, 2011, and scored two points playing in four minutes. During the 2011-12 season, he played a total of 15 games with the Kings and spent most of his time playing for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League. In his second season, he only played in nine games with the Kings as he continued to play for the Bighorns of the D-League. In 2013 he was traded to the Houston Rockets and was assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League. After playing with the Vipers, Honeycutt decided to go overseas. In August of 2013, he signed with Ironi Nes Ziona of the Israeli Super League. He spent one season in Israel and then signed a two-year deal with a Russian team called Khimki.

During his time there, he won the Eurocup championship during the 2014-15 season. He played in over 23 EuroLeague games and averaged six points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Honeycutt was on the move, yet again in 2016, he signed with Turkish club Anadolu Efes and won the Turkish Basketball Super League Slam Dunk Contest. He finished his overseas career playing with Khimki for the 2017-18 season. The game of basketball allowed Honeycutt to play in multiple countries, and he had the opportunity to fulfill his dream of playing in the NBA.

The tragic death of Tyler Honeycutt

In July of 2018, Honeycutt’s mother called 911 after noticing that her son was not acting normal. When she called 911, she told him that he was using nitrous oxide for six months when he was overseas and thought it messed with his brain. Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas and can be taken in pills, and you can inhale it.

When police arrived at Honeycutt’s house, they noticed that he barricaded the entrance so no one could enter. Reports said that Honeycutt fired a shot at police, and police fired back. After several hours, LAPD SWAT entered his home and found Honeycutt dead. An autopsy was done and was determined that he died by suicide by a gunshot wound to the head. Honeycutt was 27 the time he died.

Tyler Honeycutt’s mother sued the city of Los Angeles after he died

In 2019, almost a year after Honeycutt’s death, his mother sued the city of LA and faulted the LAPD for their tactics. Liza Stazel, Honeycutt’s mother, filed a claim that stated the negligence and wrongful death of her son. An article from the stated that Stazel said the LAPD failed to de-escalate the situation and get her son prompt medical attention.

The lawsuit stated that after Honeycutt was shot in the face, he started bleeding and needed emergency medical care and treatment. The lawsuit alleges that the LAPD waited too long to allow medical personnel to treat Honeycutt. At the time, the LAPD did not have any comments on the pending litigation. Honeycutt lost his life at a young age, and his death came as a surprise to many people.