Gophers Star Player Sentenced to 2 Years Probation for DWI
A Gophers basketball star is going to serve an additional two years of probation after a summertime DWI arrest.
Trever Mbakwe, 23, was already on one year of probation after he pleaded no contest to an assault case in Florida in 2009. This time, the judge determined that Mbakwe was not a danger to society, which had him extend his probation time rather than send him to jail.
Mbakwe said he is grateful that he was given another chance and that he realizes how trying the experience has been for the Gophers and their fans. He stated that he was thankful for Tubby Smith, his family, and others at the University of Minnesota for standing by him.
In addition to probation, Mbakwe was ordered to serve 20 hours of community service each month and to attend AA meetings on a weekly basis.
Prior to the hearing, Mbakwe’s attorney had reached a confidential civil settlement with the victims of the 2009 assault case. The attorney for the victims had initially asked the judge to extend Mbakwe’s probation to four years but that they would accept a shortened probation if the civil settlement was satisfactory. The judge denied the request, stating that the settlement was a civil matter and had nothing to do with the current case.
After being charged with the assault, Mbakwe had entered a pre-trial intervention program, but he violated a restraining order in 2011 that a St. Paul woman had against him. His probation for this violation is scheduled to expire in December.
Tubby Smith said in October that he had almost kicked Mbakwe off of the basketball team following his July 1st DWI arrest. Instead, Smith said that Mbakwe could stay on the team as long as he completed a certain set of requirements.
Mbakwe has posted a Twitter apology to fans and thanked them for the support.
Mbakwe is a Miami Dade College transfer student, but he had to set out that season due to the assault case. He played the entire 2010-2011 season, but he missed most of the 2011-2012 season after tearing a ligament.
The NCAA did grant Mbakwe a sixth year this year, which surprised many because of the legal troubles that Mbakwe has had. He is set to be a star on the Gophers team and the expectations for him on the court are quite high.
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