Former NCAA basketball star Reggie Chaney, who played for Arkansas and Houston, found dead at age 23

August 23, 2023
Ben Marquis

A young former college basketball star who was set to begin his professional career within a matter of days unexpectedly passed away this week.

Reggie Chaney, 23, who played for both the University of Arkansas Razorbacks and the University of Houston Cougars, was found dead on Monday of an unknown cause, according to the Western Journal.

Chaney had just recently graduated from Houston in May and per multiple accounts was just days away from launching the next phase of his basketball career after signing a contract with a professional team in Greece.

Star player for Houston Cougars

The Associated Press reported that Chaney was found unresponsive in an apartment in Arlington, Texas, on Monday, according to a spokesman for the Arlington Police Department.

That spokesman added that while foul play was not suspected in Chaney's death, an official cause of death won't be determined until an autopsy is completed.

The AP noted that Chaney first played two seasons at Arkansas before transferring to Houston ahead of the 2020-2021 season, where he helped his new squad reach the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament that year.

Houston Coach Kelvin Sampson posted a photo of himself with Chaney in his graduation garb and wrote, "A son. A grandson. A brother. The ultimate teammate. The identity of our Cougar basketball culture. A winner."

"Thank you, God, for allowing Reggie to come into our lives," he added. "Rest easy Reg. Your legacy will live on forever. I love you and will miss you dearly."

"Razorback men’s basketball program is devastated"

WholeHogSports reported that Chaney, a 6'8" forward from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who was a standout high school player in Nevada and Texas, played for two years at Arkansas as a freshman and sophomore, first under Coach Mike Anderson and then under Coach Eric Musselman.

"My heart is heavy with this news," Anderson said of Chaney's death. "Reggie a fierce competitor, a gentle soul with a giving heart has gone home."

Musselman said, "The Razorback men’s basketball program is devastated to hear of the loss of Reggie Chaney. He was a relentless worker and loved by his coaches and teammates. His family is in our thoughts and prayers."

The outlet noted that several of Chaney's former Hogs teammates also expressed their shock at his death and condolences for his family and friends.

A massive presence on the court

During his two years at Arkansas, Chaney, who was best known for his defense and rebounding skills, played in 63 games with the team and averaged 4.8 and 3.4 points, respectively, in those two seasons -- though stats fail to fully measure or quantify his talent and abilities and presence on the floor.

Over the course of his three years at Houston, he played in 104 games, averaged 3.6 points and 2.6 rebounds, helped the Cougars reach the NCAA Tournament in all three seasons, and in his final year was named as the American Athletic Conference's Sixth Man of the Year, an honor that goes to the best non-starter player off the bench.

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