mcloudy.png
Monday June 24th, 2019 7:58PM

Likely NBA top pick Zion Williamson referenced at NCAA trial

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The player widely projected to be the NBA draft's top overall pick came up at a college basketball corruption trial Thursday as jurors heard a recording of a Clemson coach who seemed eager for help from an aspiring agent.

The charismatic Zion Williamson played one year at Duke before entering the draft scheduled for June.

His name surfaced as video recordings of meetings with college coaches were played at the criminal trial of the aspiring agent, Christian Dawkins, and an amateur basketball coach, Merl Code, who are charged with paying bribes to assistant basketball coaches to help secure NBA-bound players as customers.

Prosecutors say the defendants teamed up with undercover FBI agents and a corrupt financial adviser to decide which college coaches should get money to steer players their way.

The tapes showed several meetings at a Las Vegas hotel where coaches seemingly auditioned for the chance to prove their schools had enough top-tier talent. If the schools were deemed qualified, they would be paid cash to match their best players with agents and financial advisers who would follow them to the NBA.

Louis Martin Blazer is a financial adviser who started cooperating with the government after pleading guilty to ripping off clients for more than $2 million. He described the meetings to a jury during his third day on the witness stand.

He said assistant coaches from Creighton, TCU, USC and Arizona State received cash, while no cash was given to assistant coaches from Louisville, Alabama, Connecticut and Texas A&M.

Some of the coaches did not get cash because "their programs weren't at that elite level" and their recruits were not valuable enough or certain to go high in the draft, Blazer said.

"They were kind of pitching us on their services," Blazer said. "Kind of like they were pitching us to say: 'Work with us.'"

In a July 2017 recording, Dawkins was heard telling Clemson assistant coach Steve Smith he could help get Williamson's family cash if the player chose Clemson over North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky.

Blazer testified that then-USC assistant coach Tony Bland was paid $13,000 at his meeting after Bland flew to Las Vegas on the school's private jet.

He said Bland needed money to try to recruit Marvin Bagley III. Blazer described watching the undercover FBI agent put an envelope with cash on the table for Bland.

"I need you guys to be on campus the minute he signs," Blazer said Bland told them. "Be ready for that."

Bagley eventually played for Duke for a season before being selected second overall in the 2018 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings.

Bland and three other former assistant coaches have pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy and await sentencing. The others are Emanuel "Book" Richardson at Arizona, Chuck Person at Auburn University and Lamont Evans, who coached at South Carolina and Oklahoma State.

"We are aware of the developments in federal court today involving one of our men's basketball assistant coaches," Clemson said in a statement. "We take this matter seriously and will immediately conduct a review."

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, College Sports, AP Business, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: O'Rourke says he's glad Biden joined 2020 race
Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke says he's glad former Vice President Joe Biden has joined the race
3:39PM ( 6 minutes ago )
FBI, IRS agents search Baltimore mayor's homes, City Hall
Numerous federal agents raided the homes and City Hall offices of Baltimore's mayor amid dramatically widening investigations to determine whether she used bulk sales of her obscure self-published children's books to disguise kickbacks
3:38PM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: Protesters unimpressed by Macron's proposals
Activists involved in France's five months of yellow vest protests say they are disappointed with President Emmanuel Macron's response to their demands for economic relief for the country's working classes
3:33PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Kings, NBA begin sex-assault inquiry into coach Luke Walton
Kings, NBA start investigation into sex-assault allegations against coach Luke Walton
2:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
Pros shunned sports bets 1 year ago. Now, leagues are all-in
American professional sports leagues used to fight sports betting as an existential threat until the U.S. Supreme Court handed them a loss
2:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
Chiefs' Hill maintains innocence in domestic violence case
Chiefs' Hill maintains innocence in domestic violence case
1:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Spurs seeking a Game 7; Nuggets look to advance
Spurs return home, looking to force a Game 7 _ while Nuggets look for trip to the second round
1:10AM ( 14 hours ago )
Harden helps Rockets eliminate Jazz with 100-93 win
James Harden scored 26 points and the Houston Rockets outlasted the Utah Jazz for a 100-93 win on Wednesday night to take their first-round playoff series 4-1
12:01AM ( 15 hours ago )
White House voices support for embattled Fed choice
White House voices support for embattled Federal Reserve candidate Stephen Moore
6:53PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
AP Interview: Sri Lanka's PM says potential bombers at large
AP Interview: Sri Lanka's prime minister says suspects linked to the coordinated Easter Sunday attacks remain at large and could have access to explosives
3:06PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Some women of color frustrated by Biden's presidential bid
Some women of color frustrated by Joe Biden's 2020 bid as Democratic field showcases party's diversity
2:59PM ( 47 minutes ago )
The Latest: Biden team says he has spoken with Anita Hill
A top aide to Joe Biden says the former vice president has spoken with Anita Hill, whose treatment during Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation hearing has been a source of criticism for the 2020 presidential hopeful
2:49PM ( 57 minutes ago )
AP National News
2 Iowa tight ends likely to go in 1st round of NFL draft
2 Iowa tight ends likely to go in 1st round of NFL draft: Iowa's T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant
7:41PM ( 20 hours ago )
NCAA: Replay official can overturn close targeting calls
NCAA panel gives OK to allowing video review officials to overturn targeting calls that can't be confirmed
2:21PM ( 1 day ago )
Writings on gender issues magnify scrutiny of Trump Fed pick
Additional writings on gender issues heighten scrutiny of Stephen Moore, Trump pick for the Fed
7:15PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
3M shares sink on earnings, outlook and job cuts
3M shares sink after lackluster earnings, lowered outlook and plans to cut 2,000 jobs globally
3:02PM ( 43 minutes ago )
Japan's Abe talks trade with EU chiefs ahead of US visit
Japan and the European Union committed to fair and open trade and the respect of rules-based international in the face of what they see as increasing trade protectionism, particularly in the United States
2:47PM ( 58 minutes ago )
CVS moves into dental care with teeth-straightening service
CVS Health venturing into dental care with plans to offer a teeth-straightening service
1:45PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
'From the heart': Mullin's decision to leave St. John's
'Straight from the heart and gut': Chris Mullin knew it was time to leave St. John's
2:04PM ( 3 days ago )
St. John's hires Mike Anderson as basketball coach
St. John's hires Mike Anderson to replace Chris Mullin as basketball coach
7:23PM ( 5 days ago )
NCAA rejects mandatory 2-year commitment to grad transfers
A proposal to require a graduate transfer to count against a team's scholarship total for two years in football and basketball has been rejected by the NCAA
4:49PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
Kings coach Luke Walton accused of sex assault in lawsuit
A former sports reporter who is suing Luke Walton for sexual assault says the new Sacramento Kings coach held her down, kissed and groped her in a hotel room, then laughed at her
11:36PM ( 1 day ago )
Simmons, Embiid usher 76ers past Nets and into 2nd round
The Philadelphia 76ers used a 14-0 start to beat the Toronto Raptors 122-100 in Game 5 and win their Eastern Conference playoff series
11:20PM ( 1 day ago )
Leonard has 27 as Raptors rout Magic 115-96, clinch series
Kawhi Leonard scores 27 points, Pascal Siakam adds 24 as dominant Raptors rout Magic 115-96, clinch first-round series 4-1
9:36PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NBA
FBI, IRS agents search Baltimore mayor's homes, City Hall
Numerous federal agents raided the homes and City Hall offices of Baltimore's mayor amid dramatically widening investigations to determine whether she used bulk sales of her obscure self-published children's books to disguise kickbacks
3:38PM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: Protesters unimpressed by Macron's proposals
Activists involved in France's five months of yellow vest protests say they are disappointed with President Emmanuel Macron's response to their demands for economic relief for the country's working classes
3:33PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Ex-officer sentenced to 25 years in black motorist's killing
A former Florida police officer is ordered to spend 25 years in prison for the shooting death of a stranded black motorist, first Florida officer in decades convicted and sentenced for an on-duty killing
3:31PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Texas border mayor charged with trying to rig own election
Prosecutors say a Texas mayor on the U.S.-Mexico border has been arrested on charges of trying to rig his own 2017 election victory
3:30PM ( 16 minutes ago )
37 hurt, including 7 critical after Chicago-area gas leak
Officials say a chemical leak that caused a toxic plume to hang for hours over a northern Chicago suburb sickened dozens of people, including seven who are in critical condition
3:12PM ( 33 minutes ago )