Justin Tuoyo ending UTC basketball career as a 'changed' man

UTC forward Justin Tuoyo (5), guard Jonathan Burroughs-Cook (4), and guard Greg Pryor talk as a Citadel player shoots a free throw during the Mocs' home basketball game against The Citadel at McKenzie Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

If it weren't for an awful set of circumstances, Justin Tuoyo's career arc could have been different.

Maybe the 6-foot-10 senior center and two-time reigning Southern Conference basketball defensive player of the year wouldn't be blocking shots for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Instead, the one-time standout pitcher could have been staring down the Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant, ready to throw a fastball or sinker low and away from the reigning National League Most Valuable Player.

But because of one awful night in 2004, Tuoyo's devotion to playing baseball faded away.

It was then that Tuoyo's father, Anthony, was killed in a car accident. Monday afternoon, he recalled getting a call from his brother Cedrick at 3 in the morning back then.