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Terrence Shannon Jr. is taken by the Timberwolves in the 2024 NBA Draft weeks after being acquitted on sexual assault charge

Terrence Shannon Jr. is headed to the NBA, just weeks after being acquitted of sexual assault charges in Kansas.

The versatile Illinois guard was taken 27th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are coming off a Western Conference Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Earlier this month, Shannon Jr. found not guilty of raping a woman in Kansas last September. At the time of the ruling, LeBron James wrote online that the former Illini star deserved an apology.

“To my young (crown emoji) Terrance Shannon Jr!” James wrote on X. ‘I love and salute you! Proud of you!! God is good!

“The apology should be 30 times louder than the hate he got, but we know how it goes,” James said. ‘Anyway, back to the regular programme. Great days ahead!’

Terrence Shannon Jr. testifies at his trial on June 13. He is now on his way to the NBA

LeBron James thinks some people owe the former Illinois star an apology

LeBron James thinks some people owe the former Illinois star an apology

James’ message was later reposted by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

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Shannon, a former Illinois standout and a possible first-round pick in this month’s NBA Draft, was found not guilty on rape charges Thursday after a jury in Douglas County, Kansas, deliberated on the verdict for less than two hours.

Shannon, 23, was accused of sexual assault last September while visiting Kansas for a football game between the Illini and the Jayhawks. He was charged with rape or an alternative charge of sexual assault, which led to him being suspended for six games; a federal judge later reinstated him, ruling that his civil rights had been violated.

Shannon testified that on September 8, 2023, he was at a bar with two roommates and a couple of Kansas players, but he only had a few drinks and remembered everything that happened that night. Shannon said he didn’t learn of the rape allegation until several weeks later, and that he never saw the 18-year-old woman who had accused him until the case began.

The 6-foot-2 Shannon can play point guard or shooting guard.  He is a potential first-round pick

The 6-foot-2 Shannon can play point guard or shooting guard. He is a potential first-round pick

The woman told police she was at the bar when a man, whom she later identified as Shannon, grabbed her buttocks and reached under her skirt to touch her. The woman claimed the bar was full, making it impossible for her to move.

Shannon testified that a woman close to him had been raped and that he would never treat another woman the same way.

Shannon’s lawyers called the allegations a “blind accusation” and questioned the woman’s motives. They also criticized Douglas County prosecutors for a lack of evidence and a Lawrence detective for the thoroughness of his investigation.

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The 6-foot-2 Shannon, who can play either point guard or shooting guard, played five seasons for Illinois. He was at his best last season, averaging 23 points for a team that reached the Elite Eight before losing to eventual national champion UConn.

Shannon was voted first-team All-Big Ten and third-team All-American by The Associated Press.

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