Portland State University basketball player shot and killed by sister, police say

"We are better for having had Deante in our lives,” the Portland State University basketball coach said of Deante Strickland. “His smile, passion and energy for life was second to none."
Image:  Deante Strickland
Portland State Vikings guard Deante Strickland during the PK80 NCAA Basketball Tournament game at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon on Nov. 26, 2017.Larry C. Lawson / Cal Sport Media via AP file

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By Phil McCausland

A standout athlete at Portland State University was shot and killed, allegedly by his sister, in an incident that left two other women injured.

Deante Strickland, 22, a Portland native, died after the shooting Friday. Authorities announced early Saturday they had arrested Tamena Strickland, 30, on a charge of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Family told NBC News affiliate KGW in Portland that Tamena is Deante’s sister.

Damian Strickland, the uncle of Tamena and Deante, told The Oregonian that his niece shot Deante, her aunt and her grandmother. A 4-year-old child was also present during the shooting, the newspaper reported.

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Both women are expected to survive.

Damian Strickland said he was told Deante’s last words were, “My sister shot me” and “I don’t want to die,” the Oregonian reported.

A basketball star at Portland’s Central Catholic High School, Deante Strickland went on to attend Casper College in Wyoming until Portland State University basketball coach Barret Peery recruited him back to his hometown in 2017.

Peery said he was a better man for having coached Strickland, who played in 65 games over the past two seasons at Portland State. He was a social science major.

"We are better for having had Deante in our lives,” Peery said. “His smile, passion and energy for life was second to none. He lit up a room and made the people around him better in every way. He loved his family, his friends and everyone around him. He had great pride in being a kid from Portland and it showed in how he competed each day. We will never forget him and he will always be with us.”

Strickland had also joined the university’s football program in the spring and planned to play in the fall.

Police said homicide detectives are continuing the investigation.

The Portland State University athletics department is working with the school’s counseling center to help affected students through the grieving process.