Former GW basketball star SirValiant Brown will face a jury trial in D.C. Superior Court beginning Sept. 30 for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Once the second-leading scorer in NCAA Division I basketball and an NBA hopeful, Brown could be sentenced to up to 180 days in prison and fined $1,000 if convicted.
Metropolitan police arrested Brown, 23, and four passengers from his car on July 29 after pulling them over on the 1300 block of Otis Place in Northwest D.C. He was arraigned last month and pled not guilty to the charges.
Several attempts by The Hatchet to reach Brown this week were unsuccessful.
Brown’s black Cadillac Escalade turned onto the street in front of a Fourth District police car that was stopped at a light, with music from Brown’s car “playing at a disturbing level,” according to a police statement. Police also noticed Brown was not wearing a seat belt.
After pulling the car over, a police officer approached the driver’s side door and “smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana emitting from the vehicle.” Asked if there was any marijuana in the car, Brown told the officer there was one “joint’s worth” in the ashtray, prompting the officer to ask permission to search the entire vehicle.
The officer then found the small amount Brown had specified in the ashtray, but also discovered a knapsack between two rear seats with a large Ziplock bag containing 22 small Ziplock bags full of “green weed,” $167 in cash and a cellular phone.
Desoney Diggs, a passenger in the car, was also found to have two small bags of marijuana on him. He will serve as Brown’s co-defendant, although Diggs, 23, only faces a possession charge. The three other passengers in the car were also charged and are awaiting separate trials.
Brown’s arrest continues a downward spiral for the former Colonials guard.
After a heralded prep career at Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, Va., Brown barely missed becoming the first freshman to ever lead the NCAA in scoring during the 1999-2000 season. After a tumultuous sophomore year that ended in head coach Tom Penders’ resignation, Brown left GW to enter the NBA Draft, but no team selected him.
He ended up touring with the One World All-Stars for a year, playing exhibition games against college teams around the country.
Last year, he played in eight games for the National Basketball Developmental League’s Roanoke Dazzle, averaging 3.5 points and one rebound in just over eight minutes per game before being cut.
Currently, Brown lives in Fort Washington, Md