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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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Monday / December 18.
  • Lance's Attorney Says He's Innocent; FIU Out

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    Lance Stephenson’s attorney says his client is innocent of the sexual assault charges against him and believes it’s an open-and shut case.

    Stephenson, the 6-foot-5 McDonald’s All-American out of Brooklyn Lincoln High School, and one of his teammates, Darwin “Buddha” Ellis, are charged with the misdemeanor of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old female student last Oct. 3 outside the school.

    They are to appear in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Tuesday.

    A third young man, the team’s 15-year-old manager, was already acquitted in the same incident in family court.

    “[Stephenson] is 100 percent innocent,” said Alberto Ebanks, Stephenson’s Brooklyn-based attorney. “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.”

    Ebanks said the alleged victim maintains the incident lasted for “10 minutes,” but he said she is not credible.

    “I think she has issues, I think she has problems,” he said. “I can’t imagine why she would make these God-awful terrible allegations. But she’s painted herself into a corner and she’s decided to go forward with them.”

    Ebanks said he will call several character witnesses on Stephenson’s behalf on Tuesday.

    “I believe that I have at least two lined up,” he said.

    Ebanks said he’s uncertain how long the case will last, but he doesn’t expect it to last longer than “a couple of days.”

    “[Stephenson’s] eager to put this behind him. He’s wanted to,” Ebanks said. “This is not a case where we’re hoping to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. We feel it’s a pretty transparent case. He’d like to clear his name.”

    Ebanks said he doesn’t talk much with Stephenson about his college plans, but expects that once the case is settled, Lance will be able to choose a school.

    “I think so,” he said. “I really just talk to him about the case.”

    Arizona and Memphis are involved with Stephenson, the all-time leading scorer in New York State history, but Florida International is no longer in the mix.

    “[Florida International coach Isiah Thomas] said they can’t get him,” said Latavious Williams, a 6-7 forward from Texas who is also being recruited by FIU.

    Stephenson is due to play this weekend in the is8 semifinals in Queens with the New York Panthers. He scored a game-high 38 points in last Sunday’s quarterfinals.

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    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.

    • AZ,

      What is the plea bargain which was offered?

      This is a big case for the NYC DA to NOT WIN.

      Will Lance take a plea.
      He will get one before when announcing READY.
      He will then get another one before jury selection.
      And he will get another one before starting the trial.

      Ask for a dismisal.

      The Trial will go quickly.
      One day for jury selection.
      On day to hear the witnesses of the State/DA.
      One day for witness of Lance.
      Third day….Jury has reached a verdict.

      PS: I.T. is not a serious option. You must know I.T. from the knicks days.
      Because the West is just laughing the mention of Lance with I.T.
      Come On- AZ.

      .

      • And ofcourse, Lance-A-Lot will not testify.
        He will not take the stand.

        By Friday , next week, the case will be over and the verdict delivered.

        .

    • USC.trojan are you working for the defense team or just reporting as a legal “expert?”

    • USC.trojan is a legal moron

    • USC.torjan is no moron, I assure you! Either he is an attorney or has been through this circus before ! Thank you for that bit of info USC.trojan!

      Jayhawkfan11 is the moron for living in Kansas! What is out there in Kansas?! Weather is bad, There is no industry and they produce nothing!

      • Kansas produces future millionaires dumb ass retard!

      • 1. USC.trojan is certainly a moron. Anyone that thinks he’s not is putting themselves in his group.
        2. Not all Jayhawk fans live in Kansas. Over the past few years of watching Bill Self’s teams, I have even become a bit of a Jayhawk fan and I live far from Kansas.

    • sprint headquarters, garmin headquarters, branches of boeing, hallmark headquarters are all in ks so wtf are you talking about you idiot

      • Hallmark Headquarters is in Missouri, I’ve been there.

    • xkujayhawksx makes a good point about kansas, but lets not forget about all that f’n food on your table davidpk19 as the majority of that comes from ks too. I understand that your mom still does your grocery shopping for you, but do some research before you make a stupid, ignorant comment like that. And tell your mom I said hi.

    • DAVIDPK19……

    • ….YOU must be a Memphis fan or something. Why all the hate on the state of Kansas? Johnson County,KS is one of the richest counties in the nation. KU Medical Center is one of the best in the world. The former CEO of Wal Mart is from Kansas. A little phone company called Sprint.

      You are a moron. Research before you talk. Bad weather is everywhere moron. You think people in Boston have great weather? How about St Paul,MN? Chicago? They all have bad weather. I guess they suck to live in to according to your thought process. How old are you? 16.

      Haha. what a loser.

      • Come on, there’s no need to lump him in with Memphis fans. Don’t rail against people for saying bad things about Kansas and then by insinuation say all Memphis fans are idiots. You’re being hypocritical.

        And we have a nice little company called FedEx here, you may have heard of them, as is fellow Fortune 100 member International Paper. Autozone is also headquartered here along with another half dozen companies in the Fortune 1,000. And that’s just in Memphis.

    • Wow. This is a story about a basketball player from NY and you kids just want to get into playground style fights about who’s state is worse than the others. How about you all just take your ball and go home?

      I have no idea what really happened with Lance, I was not there. It does however seem a little shady when his lawyer said that he could only round up two character witnesses on his behalf… hmmm…. aren’t there 6 million “Born Ready” fans in NYC?… but only two of them want to speak on behalf of his character??? Interesting.

    • You tell ’em Gumby! I’m no “USC.Trojan,” but I think the character witnesses the defense attorney is referring to will be speaking against the character of the accuser. In a case like this, if acquaintances, family or friends of the accuser will testify that she’s made up stories like this before, or that she confided in them that details that are not a part of her accusation, the jury will find reasonable doubt.

      It makes sense that Arizona is not being vocal about pursuing Lance until this is resolved. With the NCAA investigation into Lute’s “Senior Moment” a few years back, the Coach Miller wants to keep things around the program squeeky-clean. It wouldn’t surprise me if Lance accepts a scholarship to Arizona a week after the case is closed, if he’s found not guilty. If he accepts a plea, you’ll be seeing Lance in Memphis or Europe next year.

      • Thanks Maximus, that makes a lot more sense that they are seeking individuals to discredit the accuser rather than calling witnesses on Lance’s behalf. I think that you also right about the UofA’s interest being toned down until they have a definitive answer on this case. Coach Miller has made it clear that he wants to recruit only the right kind of student athletes with high moral fiber to be Wildcats.

        I never place too much stake in these types of cases until they are resolved. High profile athletes at any level have become walking targets. For all I know Lance did not “grope” this woman for 10 minutes as claimed and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. I like to give the benefit of the doubt unless it becomes a recurring theme like Pac-Man Jones. I personally hope that Lance is cleared, decides to come to Tucson and helps lead the Cats to their 26th consecutive NCAA tournament.

      • If he’s found guilty I wouldn’t count on him being in Memphis, the guy who gave the troublemakers second chances is in Kentucky now…

    • Lance-A-Lot…..

      Court Date: Day 1

      He announes READY.
      Time to select the jury memebers…

      What was TODAY’s pleas bargain????

      AZ….what is up..U r at the court house..right?