NEW ORLEANS — Tragedy struck former Oak Ridge High basketball star and New Orleans Pelicans’ forward Ryan Anderson earlier this week when he found his girlfriend and reality TV star Gia Allemand in her New Orleans, La. home Monday after an apparent suicide attempt.
According to media reports, Allemand was found unconscious by Anderson, who called 911. Allemand was rushed to University Hospital in New Orleans in an attempt to resuscitate her but due to a “critical loss of brain and organ function,” was taken off life support Wednesday.
Anderson was at Allemand’s side, along with her mother and other lifelong friends when she passed.
In a statement released on the eonline.com Website, Anderson said, ”I’m deeply grateful for all the love and support we have received from family, friends and fans. Gia was the most beautiful person I knew inside and out and she always smiled and made everyone else around her smile.”
He continued, “She had such an amazing impact on my life and anyone that knew her was blessed. All I have left is to cherish those memories we made together and help perpetuate the many values, faith and love that we shared.”
Allemand appeared on ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelor Pad.’ She modeled for Maxim.
Anderson was part of the 2004-05 Oak Ridge squad that went 31-4 and won the Sierra Valley Conference, Sac-Joaquin Section, Nor Cal and State Division II championships.
After two successful seasons at Cal-Berkeley, Anderson entered the 2008 NBA Draft and was selected in the first round by the New Jersey Nets. After one season with the Nets, Anderson was traded to the Orlando Magic, where he played for three seasons.
As a free agent after the 2011-12 season, the Sacramento Kings pursued Anderson before he signed with the Pelicans.