What Happened to Reggie Chaney? Details on the College Basketball Star’s Death

Reggie Chaney, a former UH basketball phenom, has died at age 23. As sports fans mourn his loss, many wonder about his cause of death.

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Aug. 22 2023, Published 11:34 a.m. ET

The gist:

  • Former University of Houston basketball player Reggie Chaney died at the age of 23.
  • His cause of death remains unknown to the public.
  • Friends and teammates remember Reggie as a reliable, dedicated basketball player.
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The college sports world is mourning the loss of another one of its exceptional athletes. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2023, multiple reports announced that former University of Houston basketball player Reggie Chaney had died at age 23.

Though his life and career were cut short, Reggie was loved by many of his teammates and the coaches that helped him on his journey. As many continue to mourn Reggie’s loss, those who followed his story want to know what transpired to the young athlete’s death.

So, what happened to Reggie Chaney? Here’s everything we know about his cause of death.

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What happened to Reggie Chaney?

Reggie’s death is one of many that occurred within the Arkansas Razorbacks community in 2023. Within the last year, several former players like Ryan Mallet, Alex “Buddha” Collins, Charles Balentine, and Peyton Hillis are among many who passed away tragically, per Fayetteville Flyer.

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Reggie’s collegiate basketball career began in 2018. According to Sports Illustrated, the Tulsa, Okla. native played two seasons for the Arkansas Razorbacks at the University of Arkansas before transferring to the University of Houston, where he played for the Houston Cougars during the rest of his undergraduate career.

While at Houston, SI reported that Reggie received praise for his “defensive prowess on a Houston team that went 33-4 last season.”

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In May 2023, the athlete graduated from UH and was already on his way to achieving great success. Before his death, the Houston Chronicle reported that he was slated to join the AE Psychiko — a professional basketball team in Greece.

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Unfortunately, it’s unclear what exactly halted Reggie’s bright future. In Reggie’s final Instagram post, he didn’t allude to anything that might threaten his life. Instead, the recent graduate posted several photos of himself in complete Black boy joy as he celebrated graduating from the University of Houston with his family.

“Yo boy graduated and got his degree…,” Reggie captioned in May 2023.

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Reggie Chaney’s cause of death remains unknown.

In addition to no official reports confirming what happened to Reggie, his exact cause of death is also a mystery. On social media, Reggie’s fanbase has decided to celebrate his life and legacy rather than what led to his demise.

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Following the official announcement of his death, many sports fans and those who knew Reggie personally spoke of his contributions to basketball. Several of Reggie’s former coaches, including Kelvin Sampson, the head coach of UH, remembered the athlete as a dependable team player. Kelvin called the athlete his “security blanket” months before he died.

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“I’ve always said, ‘Reggie, you’re my security blanket,'” Sampson said of Reggie in March 2023. “Some days when it’s hot, I may not need you, but if there’s a little bit of a chill in the air, it’s good to know I’ve got that blanket there.”

Many of Reggie’s former teammates and UH classmates also paid their respects to him via Twitter. One of his friends and fellow basketball player Mason Jones wrote a message that alluded to Reggie having some personal struggles as he asked those mourning Reggie to give him “his flowers.”

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“Pls give Reggie his flowers,” Mason shared on Twitter. “If only y’all knew what he was really going through .. just a kid from Tulsa .. going to miss you brotha fr .. real life brotha, roommate, and one of the realest guys you will ever meet!”

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Reggie’s girlfriend, Shanalie Aaliyah, also took to social media to remember his impact on her life. Hours after his death, Shanalie posted several Instagram stories on her account.

The stories included Reggie giving his girlfriend thoughtful gifts like flowers and edible arrangement bouquets. Shanalie also called Reggie her “soulmate” in a video of them together.

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“I’ll never get over this, Reg,” Shanalie wrote. “My soulmate.”

Rest in peace, Reggie!

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