Buzzer beaters

The home-invasion trend hits Philly. Plus, Shawne Williams's spiral continues.
By MATT TAIBBI  |  August 4, 2010

100_blott_msin
This is starting to get creepy.

In yet another bizarre and disturbingly violent home-invasion story involving college athletes, two 21-year-old basketball players from Drexel University were arrested after allegedly robbing a student's apartment in Philadelphia.

Jamie Harris and Kevin Phillip, both native New Yorkers, were charged after they allegedly went into an apartment with guns drawn looking for money and came out with nothing but two cell phones. A third Drexel student named Devin Bond was also arrested. Bond knew the two people who lived in the apartment; when they buzzed him up, he allegedly stopped the outside door to let Harris and Phillips in. Bond went upstairs and chatted for about 15 minutes, at which point the two hoopsters allegedly came bursting in.

Police allege that Bond was the one who told the two ballplayers there was cash in the apartment. If this is true, all three men were dumb and wrong, in addition to everything else, which will be a bitter pill to swallow if they end up doing multiple hard years in jail for the armed robbery of . . . two cell phones.

There have been a few other episodes already this year involving college athletes and home invasions. One involved Citadel quarterback Miguel Starks and former Citadel football player Reginald Rice, who were arrested in connection with a series of Clockwork Orange–style deals in which the duo allegedly forced their way into homes, bound and gagged the residents, and then burglarized the houses. Then there was Kansas defensive tackle Jamal Greene, who was brought in on home-invasion charges; he too allegedly worked with a former player, linebacker Vernon Brooks, forcing residents to the ground at gunpoint and robbing their homes.

As sports-crime trends go, this one's pretty ominous — a far cry from shooting joggers with BB guns, the hot campus crime of a few years back, which almost seems like volunteer work for the elderly in comparison. Give Harris and Phillip 80 points each, and stay tuned.

Spiral time
Just a few weeks ago, it seemed like Shawne Williams — a former hoops star at the University of Memphis and the Indiana Pacers' first-round draft pick in 2006 — was getting his career back. If you watched the Celtics' summer-league games down in Orlando, you might have caught Williams playing for the Charlotte Bobcats. He didn't exactly look like a star, but he didn't look like he was on the Lawrence Phillips Express, either.

Williams was once an elite prospect, but got himself busted out of the NBA. He had moving violations, he missed a court date, and then he was arrested in a Memphis drug sting called "Operation Lockdown" that was aimed at dealers of "sizzurp," a codeine/cough-syrup mixture.

But the word was that Williams had put the sizzurp behind him and was ready to dedicate his life to basketball again.

Oops. Just last week Shawne and former Memphis teammate Kareem Cooper got arrested during a routine traffic stop. Williams wasn't wearing a seat belt, and was charged with driving with a suspended license. Give him 15 points — it doesn't look like he'll be coming back to the NBA anytime soon.

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