Houston’s DeJon Jarreau playing in Final Four with a guardian angel — his late childhood friend

INDIANAPOLIS – Houston guard DeJon Jarreau said he has the Cougars' No. 1 fan cheering him on from the best seat in the house – heaven. 

Jarreau's close childhood friend from New Orleans, Tristen Edgerson, died this week after suffering a brain aneurysm.

"To be in the Final Four, I know he's still watching," Jarreau said Friday ahead of his team's matchup with Baylor on Saturday. "I know he'll be with us out there while we're playing. I hope he can help make an impact on the game from (heaven). 

"He just passed a couple of days ago, wasn't able to make it. Rest in peace, Tristen. I love you, brother."

Doctors pronounced Edgerson brain dead after an unsuccessful surgery last week, but Jarreau was able to FaceTime with Edgerson and his family before he died. He dedicated Houston's Sweet 16 win against Syracuse to his friend. 

Jarreau grew up in the 7th Ward of New Orleans. He and Edgerson were once teammates in the city at McDonogh 35 College Preparatory Charter High School.

"Man, that's my friend I grew up with. Met him in (New Orleans). We became brothers," Jarreau said. "One of the most genuine people you'll ever meet. A great guy, never got into any trouble. He had a passion for basketball. We actually played on the same basketball team. He never really could get it going (with basketball) to start a career with it. That's all right."

Jarreau (10.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.4 apg), the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year, has been a staple for the Cougars (28-3) during their run to the Final Four. He often guards the opponent's best player and creates for others on offense as a point guard. 

Jarreau became the first Houston player since 1993 to record a triple-double on March 12 when he had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a win against Tulane in the AAC Tournament quarterfinals.

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