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.
Lance Stephenson could face disciplinary action from Lincoln High School as a result of his recent arrest.
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Stephenson was arrested earlier this month and charged with a Class B misdemeanor for allegedly groping a 17-year-old girl on school grounds.
“Disciplinary action is pending the police investigation,” Margie Feinberg, a Department of Education spokesman, said Tuesday by phone. “We are working with the police. There is no timeframe.”
Stephenson denied the charges through his attorney, Alberto Ebanks.
“Where is the proof?” Ebanks told The Daily News. “There’s not one independent witness that will verify this. … At 2:50 on or near school grounds, someone has to see this happen.”
Stephenson is being recruited by St. John’s, Kansas, Memphis, USC and UCLA but he has yet to take an official visit. A student-athlete must have a test score, PSAT, SAT or ACT, to take an official visit. Stephenson took an unofficial visit to St. John’s last month for its Midnight Madness event.
Several Big East coaches said they think he will attempt to play professionally overseas next season, a la Brandon Jennings, instead of going to college.
“I think he’s going to try it,” one Big East assistant coach said.
One Big East head coach reiterated that sentiment during Wednesday’s Big East Media Day, saying he thought Stephenson would head to Italy or somewhere in Europe.
Stephenson has previously said he was keeping an eye on Jennings, but also reiterated that he wanted to go to college. Jennings is earning $1.2 million this year in Italy, and Stephenson could potentially earn similar money.
“I think I want the education so I think I would go to college,” Stephenson said. “I’m looking at Brandon right now, see how he’s doing. If he goes there, then I’ll see how it is. If I do it, then I’ll do it, but right now I’m thinking about college.”
Former sneaker guru Sonny Vaccaro said he has heard from the parents of about a dozen prep players interested in learning more about Jennings’ decision.
“I’ve talked to more parents in the last three months regarding their son’s future than I ever have,” Vaccaro said. “There’s a lot of interest. And they’re not all seniors. They’re not all like Lance or Renardo [Sidney]. There are some parents of sophomores in this year’s class. They’re just getting information. One parent’s concern was, ‘How can anybody with an intelligent mind not look at the options in the economic world we live in today?'”
Stephenson has led Lincoln to three straight PSAL championships and says he is focused on winning a fourth and becoming more of a team player before worrying about college visits and choices.
“Right now, I’m just worrying about basketball and at the end I’ll do all that college stuff,” he said this summer. “I’m going to do my high school season and after that I look forward to telling everybody what school I should go to.”
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.