Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jereme Richmond?s downward spiral continues with arrest

The sad story of former McDonald's All-American Jereme Richmond took on another unfortunate chapter Tuesday.

Richmond, who made the premature leap into the NBA draft pool following one so-so campaign at Illinois last season, was charged with beating a woman and threatening her with a gun.

According to the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Richmond and 22-year-old Matthew Riley were arrested Monday afternoon outside of the victim's house when police found a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic gun in their vehicle.

The victim is a 17-year-old woman who Richmond had been dating, but their relationship recently deteriorated, according to the report. She drove to Richmond's home in Waukegan, Ill., on Sunday to get her cell phone, but Richmond allegedly began arguing with her outside and shoved her back into her car.

On Monday, Richmond allegedly drove to her house and began arguing with her while her mother watched. He's also alleged to have spat on her during the confrontation and threatened to shoot her. The gun was discovered when police arrived moments later.

He is charged with aggravated battery for the Sunday incident and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and battery stemming from Monday's ordeal. If convicted, he faces up to 14 years in prison, but could also be eligible for probation. Bond was set at $100,000, and Richmond will appear in court on Aug. 18.

And to think, Richmond could have been spending the time three hours south preparing for a sophomore season with the Illini.

The enigmatic Richmond, who committed to Bruce Weber as a ninth-grader and was without question the biggest recruit of the eighth-year coach's career, had an up-and-down 2010-11 season, to say the least. He averaged 7.6 points and five rebounds, and appeared to be on the right track after putting up big efforts against Michigan State and Ohio State following mid-season transfer rumors.

However, he was benched for both of the Illini's NCAA tournament games in Tulsa, Okla., after allegedly fighting with a teammate a week earlier, and was never to be seen again, taking some bad advice and entering the NBA draft. Predictably, he went undrafted (well, depending on who you ask).

It's certainly not too late for the 6-foot-7 talent, who at just 19 years old still could have plenty of great days on the floor ? and money in his bank account ? ahead of him. But if that's going to happen, he can't allow himself to sink much lower than he is right now.

Ryan Greene also covers UNLV and the Mountain West Conference for the Las Vegas Sun. Read his Rebels coverage and follow him on Twitter.


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