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Suicide Suspected in Price’s Death

January 19, 1999

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (AP) _ A neighbor called 911 after hearing screams. A minute later, a shot rang out and former Stephen F. Austin basketball star Katrina Price was dead.

Price, 23, was found slumped on top of a shotgun early Monday. Police Sgt. Paul Peterson said it appeared the shooting was a suicide.

``There were no signs of a struggle and there appeared to be a shotgun lying under the body, which would tend to lead us toward that conclusion,″ Peterson said.

Price lived in an apartment with her sister, Lucrettia ``Lucy″ Price. According to Peterson, Lucrettia awoke to find her sister holding the shotgun.

``The people who lived downstairs heard screaming,″ Peterson said. ``Apparently, Lucy had woken up and had found Katrina. It appears she was frantically trying to talk Katrina out of it.″

The neighbors called police to report the fight. They then called back to report the shot.

``There was less than a minute between the two 911 calls,″ Peterson said.

The younger Price, who attends SFA, is not a suspect, police said.

Katrina Price was a third-team All-America player last season when she averaged 22.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. The 5-foot-10 guard was the Ladyjacks’ all-time leading scorer with 2,278 points, and she’s among the SFA’s top 10 in seven other categories.

``We are all devastated,″ said SFA athletics director Steve McCarty. ``Every member on that team either played with Katrina last season or knew of her. This is a very emotional time in their lives.″

Monday night’s game between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State in Hunstville was postponed because of Price’s death. University counselors worked with the players and coaches to help cope with the loss.

Price tried out for the WNBA but went undrafted. She was offered the chance to attend a free-agent camp, but instead opted to join the American Basketball League.

The Long Beach StingRays made Price the seventh overall pick in the May draft, but the team disbanded before she ever played a game. She was placed on the Philadelphia Rage roster in August and was a reserve when the league filed for bankruptcy in December when it could no longer compete with the higher-profile WNBA.

Price, a Waco native, led La Vega High to the state finals her senior season and graduated second in her class. She received her bachelor’s degree from SFA last May and was enrolled in graduate courses for the spring semester, which began last week.

``Katrina was the epitome of a student-athlete,″ said McCarty. ``She graduated from here with honors and she played with honor. She did everything to the utmost of her ability with class and character.″

Price was the Southland Conference’s marquee player during her four years.

She played in all but one of the 123 games in her career, starting 120 of them. She was the first four-time member of the league’s all-tournament team, a three-time all-conference player and a two-time winner of the SLC’s player of the year award.

Price is survived by eight sisters: DeLores Turner, Glenda Shead, Margaret Banks, Carolyn Eagan, LaVell Price, DeShanda Price, Lesia Phillips and Lucrettia Price.

The sisters released a statement through their aunt, Barbara Price, saying:

``The family is saddened by the loss of our loved one. Katrina was a most generous and loving person. We were so proud of her. She always tried to set an example through basketball to the youth in the community.″

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