Home / Sports / Knicks’ Cleanthony Early shot after leaving strip club

Knicks’ Cleanthony Early shot after leaving strip club

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Wednesday, December 30, 2015, 9:15 AM

New York Knicks forward Cleanthony Early was injured in an overnight shooting, police sources said.Alex Brandon/AP

New York Knicks forward Cleanthony Early was injured in an overnight shooting, police sources said.

New York Knicks forward Cleanthony Early was shot in the right knee in a coordinated early-morning attack involving masked gunmen after leaving a Queens strip club, police sources told the Daily News.

Early, 24, was surrounded by four to six men, two of them with guns, and robbed of his items and jewelry — including a gold necklace and gold caps on his teeth, sources said.

The shooting happened at 4:15 a.m., after Early left CityScapes gentlemen’s club on 58th Street in Maspeth Queens. He was with his girlfriend when he left the club, sources said.

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The couple was in an Uber cab, about a mile away from the club, when three cars boxed in the vehicle, sources said.

The men approached — two of them with guns, one wearing a ski mask — and pulled Early from the back seat, holding him up with semi-automatic pistols.

“Give me everything you got,” the men told Early, according to police sources.

A champagne bottle was seen on the ground following a shooting that injured New York Knicks player Cleanthony Early.Theodore Parisienne for New York Daily News

A champagne bottle was seen on the ground following a shooting that injured New York Knicks player Cleanthony Early.

Early handed over his cash, gold caps on his teeth, and two gold chains, as well as his iPhone 6, sources said, before shooting Early in the right knee. The Uber driver was also robbed, and the men took his ID.

Early was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition, and was later being transported to another hospital. His injury does not appear to be life-threatening.

The Knicks released a statement acknowledging the shooting.

“We are aware of what occurred with Cleanthony Early this morning and are relieved that he is not in a life-threatening situation,” the team said. “We will not comment any further until we receive more information.”

Employees with the gentlemen’s club declined to comment when contacted by the Daily News.

Early — who grew up in The Bronx and later lived in Middletown — is in his second season with the Knicks. He was drafted in 2014 after attending Wichita State.

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Knicks player Cleanthony Early was at CityScapes gentlemen's club before he was shot early Wednesday.Danny Iudici/New York Daily News

Knicks player Cleanthony Early was at CityScapes gentlemen’s club before he was shot early Wednesday.

Early has played in 10 games for the Knicks this season, averaging less than four minutes and 1 point per game after being recalled from the D-League Westchester Knicks. He has battled injuries during his career and missed two months of the 2014-15 season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the same one injured in Wednesday’s shooting.

Early played about 30 seconds Tuesday in the Knicks 108-96 victory at Madison Square Garden over the Detroit Pistons.

He is the second Knicks player targeted in the past month — his teammate Derrick Williams was partying with two women before more than $ 600,000 worth of jewelry disappeared from his apartment.

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