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Semi-pro basketball: Judge denies Richmond's request to move to Sterling, play for Preds

(Continued from Page 1)

BY CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN

cheimerman@saukvalley.com

800-798-4085, Ext. 552

Brad Grenoble’s tone was somber. He could only imagine how Jereme Richmond’s would sound this morning.

The Sauk Valley Predators owner found out Thursday night that a Lake County judge denied former McDonald’s All-American and Illini basketball player Jereme Richmond’s request to move to Sterling and play for the Predators.

“I had no clue they even had a court date about it,” Grenoble admitted. “I know as much as you know until I talk to him tomorrow.”

The Predators were on the brink of finalizing their 12-man roster. Richmond, 20, told Judge John Phillips on Thursday that he had not yet signed a contract with the team, according to Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Newman.

Newman said he filed a petition to revoke Richmond’s probation because he missed several substance abuse and domestic violence classes in January, which are conditions of his probation. The petition is expected to be argued in court on Feb. 14.

Richmond’s attorney, Lawrence Wade, said his client missed the classes because his grandfather passed away and his mother was not able to give him any money to attend the classes, which cost $14 to $30 per class.

“Half his problem is he won’t ask for help,” Grenoble said. “If he called and asked for 35 dollars to go to class, we would’ve given it to him. I can name a half a dozen families – host families with the organization – that would have been happy to give it to him.”

Richmond averaged 13.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in nine regular-season games for the Preds last season before being denied the opportunity to play in the playoffs because of a parole violation.

“We’ve got to find another guy who can play 2-3-4,” Grenoble said. “It’s not easy to find another McDonald’s All-American. He was a special player.”

While Grenoble must now find another player capable of playing all five positions, he’s more so saddened for Richmond.

“He’s like a kid to us,” Grenoble said.

Richmond was arrested in August 2011 in Waukegan and accused of punching his ex-girlfriend and threatening her family with a gun. He pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon and received 18 months of probation last January.

He was jailed twice for probation violations.

If Phillips revokes Richmond’s probation he can elect to sentence him to an extended probation, periodic imprisonment, or up to 3 years in prison, Newman said.

The Premier Basketball League season tips off March 9. The good news is, while it means a lot of work, the Predators have more than 150 emails from players and their agents who would love a shot.

The Predators turned away about a dozen players after tryouts Jan. 27 at Musgrove Fieldhouse in Sterling. Unfortunately, those who were on the cusp of making the team are guards, lacking Richmond’s size and versatility.

“It’s a blow,” Grenoble said. “Obviously from the standpoint of our players. But we wanted him to go places. We care about him. My wife cares for him deeply. This goes beyond basketball.”

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