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 has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in the groping case of a 17-year-old Lincoln High girl, according to the New York Daily News.
He agreed to three days of community service and to seek counseling.
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Stephenson recently signed a financial aid deal with the University of Cincinnati.
He was to head to court on Wednesday but his lawyer struck a deal that will keep him out of jail. He was facing up to six months on a misdemeanor sexual assault charge.
“His lawyer moved up the court date from next week and had him take conditional discharge,” a source told the Daily News.
Stephenson’s attorney, Alberto Ebanks, has maintained his innocence throughout.
“Mr. Stephenson is looking forward to transitioning to college life and is pleased to put this matter behind him,” Ebanks told The News.
“We just want to move on and think about college,” Lance Stephenson Sr. told the newspaper. “We’re happy to be able to move on.”
Stephenson and teammate Darwin “Buddha” Ellis were accused of groping the student outside Lincoln last Oct. 3.
Several colleges subsequently pulled out of recruiting him because of a variety of issues, including the groping charge and concerns over his involvement with the BornReady.tv Website, a reality series focusing on Stephenson and his family.
Yet several coaches who had recruited him told me this week at the Reebok All-American Camp that they were not concerned about the Website and that the family hadn’t broken any NCAA rules.
With the court case out of the way, Stephenson appears headed to join the Bearcats next fall, where he will join a talented team that includes point guard Deonta Vaughn and big man Yancy Gates.
“We’ve done all of our due diligence and background as much as we could possibly do on Lance’s legal issues,” Bearcats coach Mick Cronin said previously. “Obviously, we feel comfortable that that’s going to be resolved. We obviously think he’s going to be cleared like every other freshman in the country or we wouldn’t have recruited him.”
Stephenson, who has not commented publicly since committing, is expected to leave New York for Cincinnati this week.
**Read the LANCE STEPHENSON TIMELINE HERE.
**See the VIDEO INTERVIEWS WITH LANCE HERE and HERE..(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.