Stephen Garnett Jr. started attending class at Northern Arizona University as a freshman recently and is also attending workout sessions with the NAU Basketball team.
NAU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mike Adras said Garnett has been going through the workout sessions like a typical freshman. “We have three other freshman and they are all going through the same adjustments, everything appears normal.” He added that as far as teammates go, everything is normal there, also.
Practices officially begin on October 13, and Garnett will know then if he made the team or not. The season starts for the Lumberjacks on November 16.
Garnett was offered a basketball scholarship from NAU, but because of his involvement in the hazing conflict that plagued Winslow High School last year, the scholarship offer was removed.
Garnett pleaded guilty, along with six others, to charges of aggravated assault and was sentenced to nine months in jail beginning October 2000. He was released in January to attend Northland Pioneer College while remaining under intensive probation, or house arrest.
Since January, he has completed the necessary community service, jail time and paid the required fines. In early July, Garnett’s intensive probation was reduced to ordinary probation, allowing him to attend NAU.
Recently, NAU President Owen F. Cargol released a statement stating Garnett would not receive a scholarship, but he was welcome to try out for the team and a scholarship could be possible in the future.
“If he chooses to go out for the team and is successful, the Athletic Department and the Dean of Students will evaluate his progress in the classroom, on the court and in the community, and Mr. Garnett may be considered for an athletic scholarship at a later point in his college career at NAU, ” he said.
During the time Garnett’s scholarship was being considered by a committee, a family member often spoke to the press about him receiving other scholarship offers from different schools, but always alluded to Garnett’s desire to be a Lumberjack.
Garnett’s father, Winslow’s Police Chief, Stephen Garnett Sr., was also competitive in the sports arena while attending NAU.
Adras added that he can see how Garnett’s unwillingness to give up will transfer to the basketball court. “I think every person’s character gets shown on the court and I can see that happening,” he said.
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