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Not talking

Police: Jazz draft pick hasn't cooperated

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Posted: Monday July 03, 2000 06:17 PM

  DeShawn Stevenson According to a police report, DeShawn Stevenson got into a fight in the hours following the NBA draft. AP

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah Jazz draft pick DeShawn Stevenson hasn't cooperated in the investigation of a brawl he was involved in last week, a school police official in California said Monday.

Greg Bass, director of police services for the Clovis Unified School District, said Stevenson hasn't returned repeated telephone calls left by investigators.

Stevenson, 19, got into the fight late Wednesday after the Jazz chose him with the 23rd pick in the NBA draft. As many as 20 people were involved, with two men arrested and cited.

Investigators haven't spoken with Stevenson, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who averaged 30.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists a game as a senior last season at Washington Union High School in Fresno.

"We left several messages on his phone," Bass said. "We told him we are not planning on arresting him. We just want to talk to him, to get his side of the story."

Bass said Stevenson's mother called his office Monday morning "to take care of business," but no progress was made on the case because the investigating officer wasn't in town.

No charges have been filed against Stevenson, who didn't return telephone messages left Monday by The Associated Press.

Jazz officials didn't return messages seeking comment. Owner Larry Miller has said the fight wouldn't affect Stevenson's standing with the team.

According to a police report, Stevenson and Fresno State football recruit Chris Sims, 18, fought after an all-star basketball game in the hours following the NBA draft.

Stevenson didn't play in the game; Sims did.

Sims was cited for three misdemeanors: fighting, obstructing a police officer and possession of a knife on school grounds. If convicted, he could face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Calvin Howell Jr., 20, was cited for fighting and use of offensive words, both misdemeanors punishable by as much as 90 days in jail and a $400 fine.

Both were taken to the Clovis city jail, cited and released. Their cases were forwarded to prosecutors, who said Monday no decision has been made on whether to pursue charges.

In his statement to police, Sims blamed Stevenson and his friends for starting the brawl. Stevenson, who fled after police broke up the fight, blamed Sims and his friends at a news conference Thursday in Salt Lake City.

On Sunday night, Stevenson was asked about the incident when he appeared from Fresno on a Salt Lake call-in television program.

"Pretty much, they started it," Stevenson said. "It was about five guys. They just hopped on me. I left the scene after that. I've been doing well, just staying low and staying in the house. Everything has been all right."

Witnesses told investigators the fight stemmed from an argument over a woman both men had dated, "and there was issues of jealousy," the police report said.

According to the report, an unnamed witness called investigators Thursday and identified Stevenson as the instigator. But a school janitor who also witnessed the brawl said Stevenson was attacked.

An officer wrote that the caller "had seen the news and the paper and that's not what had occurred. She told me that Stevenson basically came to the game to fight Sims."

A second officer asked a witness, identified as Sims' ex-girlfriend, why Stevenson had lingered in the gym after the game ended.

"She believed it was because the guys were going to fight," the police report said.

Stevenson originally committed to play college basketball at Kansas, where coach Roy Williams had called him the most gifted recruit Williams had ever pursued.

However, Stevenson entered the NBA draft in May when his SAT score was thrown out after a dramatic improvement. He scored 450 on the test as a sophomore and 1,150 as a senior.


 
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