Friday, May 8, 2009

John Wall, Keep It In Your Pants.

While it's hardly known as a hotbed for anything other than college basketball, many great people come out of my hometown of Raleigh, NC. American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken. Steeler's coach Bill Cowher. Baseball player Josh Hamilton. CSI Miami's Emily Procter. The late (and to some, great) Senator Jesse Helms. Family Matters' star Reginald VelJohnson. Portland Trailblazers coach Nate McMillan. Actress Sharon Lawrence.

Word Of God Senior point guard John Wall (who looks disturbingly like Soulja Boy) has the star power to eventually eclipse everyone on that list. I top 5-rated prospect in the Class of 2009, Wall has yet to decide on a school (Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky head the list), but few doubt that he'll eventually become an NBA phenom once his one-year NCAA apprenticeship is over. Described as a less-selfish Allen Iverson, with the physique of Lebron James, Wall is a can't miss prospect, who is merely months away from becoming a multimillionaire.

And sadly, like many kids with this level of potential, he simply cannot stay out of the news for all the wrong reasons. There were allegations that prospective suitors (ie: Baylor, and NCCU. Yeah, Central!) have hired his former advisers and AAU coaches on as assistants in hopes of landing him. The usual "under the table money" rumors are out there. But perhaps no incident is more potentially damning that what just occurred over the weekend.
John Wall, one of the country's most prized college basketball prospects, was charged last week with misdemeanor breaking and entering at a southeast Raleigh residence.

Wall, 18, a senior at Raleigh Word of God Christian Academy, was detained about 12:30 p.m. April 27 by a Raleigh police officer who was responding to a report of a breaking and entering in progress at an unoccupied dwelling at 3924 Laurel Glen Drive, Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said in a statement.

The officer saw Wall leaving from the rear door of the yellow, two-story house and detained him without incident, Sughrue said.

A few minutes later, a second teenager, Bria Renea Draughn, 16, was detained while walking on a nearby street. A third, Reginald Leonard Jackson II, 17, was detained when he returned to the Laurel Glen Drive house in the Abbington Ridge subdivision, Sughrue said. Each of the three was issued a citation on a misdemeanor charge of breaking and entering, said Wake County chief magistrate Gary Wills.

The citation is similar to one issued for a traffic violation, Wills said. "You can be cited for a misdemeanor breaking and entering," he said. No warrant was executed. The citation has not been filed yet, but Sughrue said that was not unusual for a misdemeanor case such as this. "It was handled for what it was," he said.

There was no indication of forced entry at the residence and no indication that anything was taken from it, Sughrue said. The house is for sale but is not new construction and was previously occupied, he added. The house where Wall was detained is three miles from the Word of God campus.

Wall's recruitment is being followed closely by college basketball fans across the country. The 6-foot-4 point guard still has eight schools on his list, including Duke and N.C. State, and says there is no favorite. national recruiting analyst Dave Telep said schools aren't likely to stop recruiting Wall on the basis of these charges. The exception, Telep said, would be a coach who believes he isn't going to get Wall anyway. Such a coach might use the charges as a convenient excuse to stop recruiting him, Telep said.

Duke associate sports information director Matt Plizga and N.C. State assistant athletics director for media relations Annabelle Myers said the schools would have no comment on the Wall report. They said NCAA rules prevent school officials from commenting on prospective student-athletes.

Wall has said he is also considering Kentucky, Kansas, Florida, Baylor, Miami and Memphis.
Call me crazy, but I can do the math here. Can you?

Two guys + One girl + Vacant House = ???

So, teens having fun. No biggie, right? Yeah, in the grand scheme of things this is simply a misdemeanor, but it is still troubling.

No college has publicly backed off recruiting him yet, but if further sordid details of what happened come out, I could see someone (ie: UNC, which really doesn't need him and appears to only be recruiting him to keep him from Duke and hometown favorite NC State) stepping back. Some colleges see him as a surefire ticket to the Final Four. The NCAA had to intercede when students at these schools started creating FaceBook groups chock full of fans trying to convince him to attend. It suffices to say that before John Wall makes a dollar, someone will have made many millions off his labor. Sad, but true.

For the sake of my boring resurgent hometown, I hope Wall goes to a good college, wins a championship during his internship, and goes to to NBA stardom and fame.

In the meantime, stay away from vacant homes, buddy. You got a whole city depending on you.

Question: What the hell was John Wall doing in that vacant house? Should a school rescind his scholarship for this alleged youthful indiscretion?

John Wall charged with breaking, entering [News & Observer]

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