Four Hofstra basketball players were arrested Thursday evening and charged with multiple counts of second-degree burglary in connection with a string of dorm-room burglaries at the Long Island university.
According to police and media reports, sophomore transfer and former Lincoln High School star Shaquille Stokes and freshmen Jimmy Hall, Kentrell Washington and Dallas Anglin stole more than an estimated $20,000 worth of iPads, iPods and laptops from six unlocked dorm rooms between Oct. 4 and Nov. 5. Some of the stolen items were sold on Craiglist and other locations.
Stokes was charged with five counts of burglary, Hall four, Washington two and Anglin one count each of burglary and tampering with evidence.
The players all pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Friday in Hempstead, N.Y., and were released on bail. All four players were supended from the school and the team.
“This morning, Nassau County Police Department, in cooperation with the Hofstra Department of Public Safety, announced the arrest of four Hofstra University men’s basketball student-athletes on various counts of burglary. The players have been identified as Shaquille Stokes, Jimmy Hall, Kentrell Washington and Dallas Anglin,” Hofstra Associate Director of Athletic Communications Stephen Gorchov said in a statement.
“Hofstra’s Department of Public Safety has been working closely with the Nassau County Police Department since the investigation began. Due to the nature of the charges, the four students have been immediately suspended from the University, including the basketball team, classes, residence halls and facilities, pending the outcome of the case.”
Nassau County Police also said head coach Mo Cassara had been burglarized by the players, but Hofstra issued a later statement saying that Cassara’s missing personal items — an iPad, iPhone, money and credit cards — went missing May 11, before the players arrived on campus.
Hall (12.7 points per game) and Stokes (10.0 point per game) are two of Hofstra’s top four scorers during its 3-4 start. Stokes, a transfer from the University of Hawaii, was granted a hardship waiver 48 hours before the the Pride opened their season on Nov. 9.
This isn’t the first time Hall has been in some trouble. Last season as a senior at perennial New Jersey power St. Anthony of Jersey City, the Brooklyn native was suspended indefinitely and later dismissed from the team by Friars head coach Bob Hurley for an undisclosed reason.
“I feel very bad for Mrs. Hall, who I think has tried to do the right things for her son, and I feel very bad for Mo Cassara and the Hofstra basketball program for giving him a chance and this turning out to be where it is right now,” Hurley told the New York Post.
“I was forced last year because of failure to adhere to rules at school to dismiss him from the team two-thirds through the season,” Hurley added.
“Anytime something like this happens, [there’s] no explanation for something like that, one kid or four kids. It’s mystifying that things like this are happening or happened.”
Hofstra is scheduled to play future Big East member Southern Methodist (7-1) and Hall of Fame head coach Larry Brown on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Hofstra’s Mack Sports Complex. Without the four players, the Pride are down to just seven scholarship players and three walk-ons
One of those seven scholarship players, 6-foot-7 UConn transfer Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, is still nursing a knee injury. The junior has not played this season and it remains unclear when or if he will play.
Both Coombs-McDaniel and guard Taran Buie were suspended in October for four games for violating team rules.