New York Knicks small forward Cleanthony Early was involved in a scary situation in the early morning of Dec. 30 when he was shot outside of a strip club. After being rushed to the hospital, Cleanthony is in stable condition. As Cleanthony recovers, get to know more about him right here.
Cleanthony Early, 24, suffered a knee injury when he was leaving a Maspeth, New York, strip club on Dec. 30, as he was held up by six men wearing ski masks who shot him directly in the knee. Prior to his terrifying attack, Cleanthony was known as an up-and-comer for the New York Knicks, playing in his second season with the team as a small forward. Fortunately, Cleanthony is in stable condition, but it remains unclear whether he’ll be able to return to the court this season. Find out more about the NBA player!
1. He’s already had surgery on his injured knee.
More than a year before Cleanthony was shot, an MRI that revealed he had loose fragments in his right knee that led to him having an arthroscopic procedure in November 2014. He missed two months of the 2014-2015 season after the surgery. Ironically, it was the same knee (his right one) that the attackers shot.
2. He played with two different college teams before being drafted.
Cleanthony began his college basketball career at Sullivan County Community college, a junior college where he was named Division III NJCAA Player of the Year and caught the attention of Division I schools. He proceeded to finish his college playing days with Wichita State University, being picked up by the Knicks in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft following his senior season.
3. He has spent all but three years of his life in New York.
Born in The Bronx, Cleanthony attended high school in Pine Bush, NY, and attended his first two years of college at Sullivan County CC in Loch Sheldrake, NY. Before being drafted to the Knicks moving back to his native state, Cleanthony spent a year of high school attending a basketball prep school in Durham, North Carolina, and two years in Wichita, Kansas to play for the University.
4. Although the shooting wasn’t fatal, this isn’t the first time tragedy struck his family.
While he was growing up in The Bronx, Cleanthony’s cousin Ezekiel was murdered. This convinced his mother to relocate their family to Middletown, NY when Cleanthony was a teenager. Then, in 2010, Cleanthony’s older brother Jamal shockingly drowned in Schoharie Creek in upstate New York. Cleanthony has kept his head up through the tough times, declaring how he does so in a conference call: “It’s all about our attitude and how we respond to it.”
5. His strong faith is part of what keeps him going.
In past interviews, Cleanthony has said that he’s big on faith, also mentioning that he believes everything happens for a reason and believes in God. Cleanthony often tweets “Thank God for today” as he starts the day, which he ironically tweeted the same day of his shooting. As he recovers, we can only imagine Cleanthony’s faith is pulling him through more than ever.
HollywoodLifers, send your well wishes to Cleanthony as he recovers from the scary incident.