Maybe you've never heard of Trevor Mbakwe, but he's one of the best ballers in Miami. The six-foot-eight-inch forward dominated Florida's junior college circuit this year, leading the Miami Dade College Sharks to their best season since 1983 -- a 26-3 final record and a close loss in the state finals.
Mbakwe won Conference Player of the Year honors, and the 20-year-old's future looked even brighter in his hometown, Minneapolis. He was the top incoming recruit for Tubby Smith's team at the University of Minnesota.
But Miami Police have put Mbakwe's Division I basketball career on hold. They arrested Mbakwe April 28 on felony assault charges -- an incident that seems to have gone unnoticed by local media.
According to a police report obtained by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the charges stem from a team party held April 3 at a Miami apartment complex.
A woman outside the gathering told police that as she walked to her car around 3 a.m., a man rode up to her on a bicycle and tried to pull down her pants. The assailant fractured her cheekbone and ruptured her sinuses during an ensuing struggle and then ran off. The woman picked Mbakwe's photo out of an online Sharks team portrait.
Mbakwe's lawyer, Gregory Samms, hasn't returned a call from Riptide. But he told the Star Tribune that the charges stem from a case of mistaken identity. Mbakwe is back in Minneapolis, awaiting an August 26 court date in Miami.
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