Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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The attorney for Lance Stephenson denies that his client groped a female student at Lincoln High School in Brooklyn earlier this month.
“He did absolutely nothing wrong,” Alberto Ebanks, Stephenson’s lawyer, told The Daily News. “He categorically denies these allegations.”
The News reported on Sunday that Stephenson, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard considering among the best players in the nation, had been arrested for groping a 17-year-old girl’s breasts and buttocks through her clothes at the high school Oct. 3. Police say the incident occurred on school grounds, but school officials say it happened at a bus stop near the school.
“Where is the proof?” Ebanks said. “There’s not one independent witness that will verify this. … At 2:50 on or near school grounds, someone has to see this happen.”
The woman reported the incident to the police three days after it happened, saying she punched and kicked Stephenson to resist.
Stephenson was charged with a Class B misdemeanor and Ebanks said Stephenson turned himself in to police last Friday and was released on his own recognizance after appearing in court Saturday.
“I’ve seen this young man grow up, known him for a long time, and I think he’s incapable of committing this kind of offense,” Ebanks told the News, adding that the hoops star “has great respect for women.”
Despite the incident, Stephenson played in the is8 playoffs over the weekend in Queens, scoring 30 points in a semifinal victory over New Heights and 22 in the championship game loss to the Playaz Seniors.
Stephenson is being recruited by St. John’s, Kansas, Memphis, USC and UCLA. He took an unofficial visit to St. John’s earlier this month and St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts had an in-home visit with the Stephenson family prior to that.
Stephenson also considered visiting Kansas this past weekend for its Midnight Madness event but stayed home to play in is8.
Stephenson’s father, Lance Sr., declined comment to the News on Sunday at is8.
“I’m not talking to anybody,” the paper quoted him as saying.
“The family’s eager to put this entire debacle behind them,” said Ebanks.
(Photo courtesy Daily News)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.