Chicago Former Kansas University basketball guard Ben McLemore, on Friday from the NBA combine, told Sports Illustrated that he would be willing to speak with NCAA officials about alleged payments made from middleman Rodney Blackstock to his former AAU coach, Darius Cobb.
“I would tell them the truth and tell them what I know, and just cooperate with them,” McLemore told SI.com and campusinsiders.com. “Hopefully they’ll cooperate with me and hear my side.”
McLemore’s AAU coach, Darius Cobb, said in a USA Today article he accepted $10,000 in cash from Blackstock, who had designs on becoming McLemore’s agent. Cobb also said Blackstock paid travel expenses to Cobb and McLemore’s cousin, Richard Boyd, on trips to Los Angeles to meet with prospective agents.
McLemore told USA Today on Friday that he did indeed know and have a “bond” with Blackstock, but that he never accepted money or gifts from the middleman, even when the pair traveled together on the Los Angeles trip.
“You know at the time I needed to meet with people, my mom wanted me to meet with people, and that’s what happened,” McLemore told USA Today. “I am pretty sure I paid for the trip. I paid for the trip. So it came out of my pockets and you know, the whole thing, I think, you know, like I said, the whole Darius Cobb, the AAU coach, it’s just basically a personal attack on Rodney, so I will leave it at that.”
McLemore also explained to Hoopsworld’s Derek Page that Blackstock was his guest at KU games in February and March because “... it was a friend, I just wanted him to see me play, see, you know, the atmosphere there at Kansas, and just go to a game.”
An NCAA spokesperson told SI.com: “We are absolutely interested in talking to people to gather as many facts as possible, especially from those who no longer are a part of the NCAA but want to get to the truth.”