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Tragic end for former Maryland basketball player

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Tragic end for former Maryland basketball player

By JP Finlay
CSNbaltimore.com

Former Maryland basketball player Earl Badu died from an apparent suicide on Sept. 27, Baltimore County Police officials confirmed on Sept. 28.

Badu apparently jumped from an eastern Baltimore County overpass on I-95 and dropped some 50 feet before landing on I-695, according to reports. Medical personnel transported Badu to Johns Hopkins Bayview, where he was pronounced dead.

A fan favorite during his time in College Park, Badu was a walk-on player for the Maryland team that won the national championship in 2002. Badu, a Baltimore native, found himself in legal and financial trouble in the years preceding his death.

At the time of his death, Badu was heavily indebted to Montgomery County, Md., chiropractor Dr. Alan Cornfield. Montgomery County (Md.) Circuit Court documents revealed Badu's debts to be 300,000. Badu and Cornfield met through Cornfield's connections to the Maryland basketball program, according to his lawyer Lewis Silber.

Apparently Mr. Badu and Dr. Cornfield knew each other for a number of years, Silber said. There was something going on where Badu told Cornfield he could make him a lot of money.

Documents show that Cornfield filed a civil complaint against Badu on Dec. 10, 2010, with a litany of charges: breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation of facts, unjust enrichment and restitution based upon unjust enrichment.

Silber went on to explain that Badu owed a lot of other people money as well, but the attorney said he was not at liberty to discuss those other people at this time.

Throughout the almost 18-month trial, Badu did not retain a lawyer. Silber added that Badu listed himself as self-employed when asked in court.

Silber last saw Badu on Friday, Sept. 21, in a court room. As part of a payment plan to repay the 300,000, Badu wrote a 20,000 check. That check bounced.

Badu pleaded guilty to writing the bad check, and was sentenced last Friday, according to the Montgomery County Circuit Court Criminal Department. The former Maryland player was due to serve a five-year suspended sentence with three years supervised probation for the bad check charge.

Im not sure where the money went, Silber said. We ended up going to court, and he agreed to pay the money back. In the process of doing so he wrote a check that was not good.

Silber said that Badu asked for more time to make things work.

"It seemed like he was trying to figure things out, Silber said. He seemed that he believed it would be taken care of. As long as we kept pushing it off, another week, another week, it would work out.

Despite Badus requests for more time, Cornfield received no money.

We needed to see something. Nothing was going through, Silber said. Dr. Cornfield wanted his money back and this was the way legally we had to do it.

Calls to Cornfield's office were not immediately returned. What happens with Badus debt remains to be seen, Silber said, but the sadness of the situation did not escape the attorney.

I feel very bad for Mr. Badu, Silber said. I know his family.

Badu was 33 years old at the time of his death.

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Tim Connelly won’t take top Wizards job, to stay in Denver

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Tim Connelly won’t take top Wizards job, to stay in Denver

There won’t be a Tim Connelly reunion with the Washington Wizards after all.

Connelly passed on the opportunity to become the Wizards President of Basketball Operations, and instead will remain in the same capacity with the Denver Nuggets, a source confirms to NBC Sports Washington. ESPN first reported on Connelly's decision.

Washington received permission to meet with Connelly late Thursday evening. He left the NBA Combine in Chicago and flew to Washington Friday for a discussion with Leonsis, a source told NBC Sports Washington. On Friday, Connelly reportedly received the offer to fill the front office vacancy created by the firing of Ernie Grunfeld on April 2.

While the interest in the Wizards was genuine from the Baltimore native, Catholic University alum and former member of Washington's front office, Connelly could not leave the "stable" situation with significant promise in Denver, a source told NBC Sports Washington.  

Connelly, 41, was named Denver’s general manager in 2013. The Nuggets won 54 games and finished the 2018-19 regular season as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. The roster, headlined by All-NBA center Nikola Jokic and guard Jamal Murray, is the second-youngest in the NBA. "Tough to give that up," the source said. "Too much to risk."

The Wizards are coming off a polar opposite campaign that ended with a 32-50 record. Significant uncertainty exists going forward with five-time All-Star John Wall expected to miss a large chunk of the 2019-20 season as his four-year, $170 million supermax contract extension kicks in.

Leonsis began a deliberative search process for a new President of Basketball Operations after dismissing Grunfeld, who held the position for 16 years.  While other candidates were interviewed during the process, including interim GM Tommy Sheppard, Connelly’s name was linked to the opening almost from the start.

Connelly considered Leonsis' handling of the discussions first class, according to a source.

Sheppard, former Hawks GM Danny Ferry and Thunder assistant GM Troy Weaver are the other known primary candidates.

In April, NBC Sports Washington first reported Connelly considered the Wizards his “dream job,” according to sources. The Catholic University alum began his NBA career as an intern with Washington in 1996 before holding various full-time front office positions under Grunfeld. He left for New Orleans in 2010.

The Wizards face significant challenges before re-entering contention in the Eastern Conference. With Wall injured, two-time All-Star Bradley Beal is the only healthy returning starter. 2018 first round pick Troy Brown Jr. is the only other valued long-term asset beyond the ninth overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft,

More than half of last season’s roster is entering some form of free agency. Washington could have limited salary cap space depending on which players return.

The situation requires the kind of roster-shaping creativity Connelly demonstrated in Denver. The Wizards now must look elsewhere for their new front office leader.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Roster is set heading into start of OTAs

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Roster is set heading into start of OTAs

Kick off your Monday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including the full 90-man roster heading into the beginning of OTAs.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The Baltimore Ravens have officially announced the full 90-man roster that will be competing for an official team roster spot in OTAs this summer. Ravens OTAs begin Monday.

2. With the return of Pernell McPhee and the addition of Shane Ray, it's clear that the Ravens are searching for the right pass rushers for their defense. The two veterans join draft pick Jaylon Ferguson in the quest to create a dynamic defense.

3. Marquise Brown is expected to miss OTAs due to continued rehab on his foot from Lisfranc surgery. However, Brown is expected to be ready by the start of training camp in August.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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