Sections

Brooklyn’s Stephenson leaving Cincinnati for NBA

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Lance Stephenson, one year removed from winning a fourth straight PSAL title at Lincoln, is headed to the NBA.

The 6-5 guard just finished his freshman season at Cincinnati and had said earlier he would return for his sophomore year, but he announced this morning he was leaving the school.

“I have decided to withdraw from the University of Cincinnati and enter my name into this year’s NBA Draft,” Stephenson said in a statement. “After carefully reviewing my options, it is now clear to me that the need to emotionally and financially support my family, especially my young daughter, along with my long-standing and burning passion to play in the NBA, outweighs my desire to return to the University of Cincinnati.

“I want to thank the administration, the athletic department and the entire coaching staff, especially [head coach] Mick Cronin and [assistant] Tony Stubblefield… for their support and guidance over the course of this past year. It was and always will be a privilege to be a Bearcat.”

Stephenson hardly dominated in his lone season at Cincinnati, where he wound up after his initial hope of going to Kansas fell through. He averaged 12.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Bearcats, who lost in the second round of the NIT to eventual champion Dayton.

The four-time PSAL champ was named Big East Rookie of the Year.

“He proved some things this season,” one NBA scout said. “He played within the framework of the team better than before. But he still has a lot of holes in his game.”

Stephenson’s high school coach, Tiny Morton, could only say, “Wow” when told the news.

Longtime high school basketball expert Tom Konchalski, who has seen Stephenson play since junior high, was ambivalent.

“Obviously, I feel he’d be much better prepared if he went back for another year,” Konchalski said. “To take care of his family is a very admirable sentiment, but when he initially said he’d go back, I thought that was a landmark statement on his part of increased maturity and understanding of the facts.”

It’s certainly no guarantee he will join another former Railsplitter, Sebastian Telfair, as an NBA lottery pick, as Telfair was when he went straight to the pros out of Lincoln in 2004.

“At times it looked like he was more patient this year and willing to be a part of the puzzle rather than the entire puzzle,” Konchalski said of Stephenson. “I hope it works out. He became too easy a target after everyone jumped off the bandwagon when they realized he wasn’t going to be the next LeBron [James]. I’m not confident this will work out, but he has great will and that’s his strongest asset, even more than his ability to score.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: