CHEYENNE — University of Wyoming basketball forward Leonard Washington, the Cowboys’ leading scorer last season, was fined and sentenced to probation Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to criminal entry and battery charges.
A second Pokes player, rising sophomore guard Shakir Smith, will be sentenced June 4 after pleading guilty to one count of criminal entry, according to the Albany County district attorney’s office.
Both players’ misdemeanor charges stem from an April 15 fight in Laramie, during which Washington entered a Laramie home and struck a person, according to court documents. Laramie police said Wednesday they couldn’t release information about Smith’s role in the fight until after his sentencing.
On Tuesday, an Albany County Circuit Court fined Washington a total of $530 and placed him on unsupervised probation for a year. Smith faces a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $750 fine.
UW coach Larry Shyatt is aware of both players’ situations and is monitoring them closely, according to the university’s athletics department.
Shyatt already had suspended Washington from the team indefinitely on April 4 for unspecified violations. UW Athletics Department spokesman Amil Anderson said Wednesday that the suspension remained in place and no further action had been taken in response to Washington’s guilty pleas.
As of Wednesday, Smith remained on the team and faced no disciplinary action, Anderson said.
Washington was the Cowboys’ leading scorer (12.9 points per game), rebounder (6.9 per game) and shot-blocker (37 blocks) as the Pokes finished 21-12 with an appearance in the College Basketball Invitational this past season.
The transfer from Southern California ranked in the top 10 in six statistical categories in the Mountain West Conference and was named second-team all-MWC.
At USC, Washington missed a semester of basketball after being declared academically ineligible. He also had a publicized run-in with then-Oklahoma big man Blake Griffin, now a star with the Los Angeles Clippers, in which Washington was ejected for a low blow.
The Lake Charles, La., native has seldom spoken of those incidents since his transfer, only that he had moved on from them.
Washington’s possible absence would be a major blow to a UW team already losing three starters to graduation.
Smith, a Kansas native who attended high school in Tuscon, Ariz., played sparingly last season as a freshman. In 15 games, the combo guard played a total of only 63 minutes, averaging 0.5 points per game.