Sometimes I find myself wondering what happened to certain college basketball players that I watched play countless games for four years. They're such a presence in my life that it feels like they were in school for double that amount of time.
Some of them end up playing overseas or the D-League, some of them get into coaching, and some of them just end up getting regular jobs and you never see or hear from them again. Guys like Draymond Green or Frank Kaminsky never really leave because you can still watch them play every night in the NBA.
But now, one of them has popped up back into our lives by going viral on Twitter and in the blog world for being arrested for bringing a loaded AK-47 to a local Dearborn strip club. That's how former Michigan State Spartan Keith Appling spent this past Sunday night.
From WXYZ Detroit's Justin Rose:
Bad news for former Spartan Keith Appling. Sources tell us he was arrested over the weekend in Dearborn at a strip club with a loaded AK-47.— Justin Rose (@JRoseWXYZ) May 2, 2016
That's a new one. From a story report from WXYZ's website, it doesn't appear that the authorities have given any more information on the incident or a motive for why Appling would bring an assault rifle into a gentleman's establishment, but here's to guessing it wasn't to make new friends.
Since leaving the Michigan State program after the 2013-14 season, Appling has spent the past two seasons playing in the D-League. He spent last year with the Los Angeles D-Fenders before becoming an All-Star this past season with the Erie Bayhawks, where he averaged 19 points, 5.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals. He even had a brief call-up with the Orlando Magic in late January, but he only appeared in five games and accumulated a total of 27 minutes and five total points before being sent back down to Erie.
It's been a rough couple of months for Spartan basketball alumni. Back in March, Branden Dawson was arrested on suspicion of spousal abuse while he was a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. The point guard of the 2000 national championship team, Mateen Cleaves, was also arraigned the same week on sexual assault charges from an incident last summer after a golf outing in his hometown of Flint.
While neither Appling, Dawson, or Cleaves have quite been convicted of a crime yet, it's certainly not a good look for any of them, or as it applies to the context of this site, their alma mater. While it's unlikely that a few former Spartans' actions will have any effect on the current state of the program, Tom Izzo can't enjoy any negative headlines at the height of recruiting season.
Of course, we also should specify that until formal charges appear, this is just one report on Appling's arrest. Innocent until proven guilty, after all.