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Wayne Ellington Given Leave of Absence Lakers After His Father's Death

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Former Tar Heel and MOP of the 2009 Final Four Wayne Ellington was given a leave of absence from the Los Angeles Lakers in the wake of news that his father had been shot and killed in Philadelphia.

Here is the statement from the Lakers.

The following statement was released today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak regarding the death of guard Wayne Ellington’s father, who was shot and killed Sunday night in Philadelphia:

"Our players are upset for their friend and teammate. Additionally, ownership and all Lakers employees are also saddened by this tragedy. Those of us who work with and have gotten to know Wayne have come to know what a wonderful and caring person he is. Our hearts go out to Wayne and his family, as do our thoughts and prayers."

Ellington has been granted an indefinite leave of absence and it is unknown at this time when he will rejoin the team.

STATEMENT FROM WAYNE ELLINGTON:

"My family and I are devastated by the news of my father’s murder on Sunday night in Philadelphia," said Ellington. "We appreciate everyone’s support and ask that you respect the privacy of our family during this very difficult time."

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Ellington's father, who goes by the same name as his son, was shot and killed at an intersection around 8 PM Sunday night. ESPN reported that Ellington was notified after the Lakers win over Charlotte later that night.

[Byron] Scott said that Ellington learned of his father's death Sunday night while walking to his car after the Lakers defeated the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, the Lakers' first win of the 2014-15 season.

"I got the news when I was with my family in the hallway about to go to my car," Scott added. "I obviously kind of dropped everything and went straight to him, spent a few minutes with him. A lot of his teammates were there, as well as his fiancé. [Hornets swingman] Gerald Henderson, who he grew up with, was there. He had a lot of support."

Our thoughts and prayers with Ellington and his family during this very difficult time.