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.
UPDATE: Arnold will take an unofficial visit to DePaul Aug. 25 or 26.
Norvell Arnold is looking for a second chance.
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Harlem put his legal troubles behind him Monday, and now hopes he can move forward and help a Division 1 program win games over the next two years.
Right now, he is leaning toward attending Maryland Eastern Shore, where he will have two years of eligibility.
“I’m trying to have a bounce-back year,” Arnold, a second team junior college All-American at Southeastern Iowa Community College in 2009-2010, told SNY.tv Monday by phone. “I’m willing to work hard and do whatever it takes for my team to win.”
Arnold, 23, was supposed to be the starting shooting guard this season at Utah State, but was released from his scholarship after he was was arrested in March in Burlington, Iowa for possession with intent to deliver marijuana, trespassing and domestic abuse.
The domestic abuse charged was previously reduced to simple assault (a misdemeanor), and on Monday in Iowa he received a deferred judgment and two years probation on the marijuana charge.
“The judge remarked upon the report and said that he is an ideal candidate for someone deserving of a deferred judgment,” James Carter, an assistant state public defender in Iowa, told SNY.tv. “He’s on probation and upon successful completion of his probation then the offense will come off his record.”
Carter added: “He’s a good kid. Unlike many of the people that come my way for the same offense or similar offenses, he doesn’t have the history that comes behind it. He doesn’t t have a juvenile record. He doesn’t have a series of offenses beginning at age 18. This is not indicative of his behavior and I think getting out of this town will help him.”
Arnold admits he made a mistake and wants to move forward with his life.
“I’m trying to get things done right and get to a new school,” he said.
“Everybody [has] problems and everybody goes through some things and some times you just have to find out the hard way. In my situation I had to find out the hard way and go through a bumpy road.”
Arnold averaged 16.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game, while shooting 51.5 percent from the field during the 2009-10 season.
He then redshirted last year after he became a father of daughter Jada, now 1.
“I had a baby here in Burlington, Iowa,” he said. ‘I decided to redshirt for the birth.”
Arnold said several mid- and high-major programs showed interest in him, but backed off after his legal troubles.
“DePaul, Hofstra, Hawaii, a couple other schools I was hearing about,” he said. “They wanted to know if I was going to have a felony and what was going to happen when I went to court.”
Now schools like Alcorn State and Maryland Eastern Shore are in the mix, with Arnold leaning toward the latter.
Wherever he lands, he said he intends to start over and help make his team better.
“We’re going to win our conference,” Arnold said. “I’ll make it happen. I’ve been on winning teams my whole career.
“I make people around me better and people make me better. That’s all that counts.”
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.