NEW YORK — During a hearing Monday morning in Brooklyn Criminal Court, the sexual assault case involving Lance Stephenson and Darwin “Buddha” Ellis was adjourned until July 15.
Attorneys for both sides huddled briefly before Judge Alexander Jeong said, “We will meet on July 15.”
Jeong had previously adjourned the case once, to Monday from May 19.
“It’s a process,” said Alberto Ebanks, Stephenson’s attorney.
Stephenson and Ellis are alleged to have groped a 17-year-old girl outside Lincoln High School last fall. If convicted, Stephenson could face up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Ebanks has maintained his client’s innocence throughout.
“[Stephenson] is 100 percent innocent,” he told me last month. “Just apply logic to the situation. At 2:50 p.m. as school is letting out, this God-awful incident goes on across the street from the school and no one sees anything? No one? Not one school safety officer, not one member of the administration, not one fellow classmate? Come on.
“It’s just a shame.”
Neither Stephenson nor his father, Lance Sr., spoke to the media Monday.
Lance and his family were coming off a weekend official visit to the University of Cincinnati and one Big East assistant coach said he expected Lance to make a verbal commitment to the school on Tuesday.
Yet it seems unlikely that any school would take a commitment until the groping case is resolved, which now has been pushed back.
The 6-foot-5 Stephenson is the all-time leading scorer in New York State history and he led Lincoln High School to four straight PSAL championships.
He has taken official visits to Kansas, Maryland and St. John’s and would have one remaining if the Cincinnati visit was an official.
Other potential schools in the mix include Memphis, Missouri, Pittsburgh and UNC-Charlotte, according to a source close to the Stephensons.
Florida, Florida International, Kansas, Maryland and St. John’s have already bowed out.
“We are going through the process of picking a school,” Lance Sr. wrote Sunday in a text. “Things are going well with the schools we are talking to. We look forward to announcing in the weeks to come.”
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.