ONLY ON CVP:
Former Englewood basketball phenom Sean Banks is on the lam again.
Although he was supposed to get probation yesterday in Hackensack after pleading guilty to assaulting and restraining his girlfriend, Banks didn’t show up for his sentencing.
Superior Court Judge James J. Guida issued a warrant for Banks’ arrest. Once he’s found, he’ll remain at the Bergen County Jail until he can be sentenced.
The case has endured several delays while more serious charges against Banks are dealt with in Bergen and Sussex counties — all of which could be him in prison for several years.
Banks, 29, agreed to the guilty plea in November in return for a reduction in six counts against him following an incident in which prosecutors said he assaulted his girlfriend with a broomstick and belt, then restrained her from leaving.
In exchange for probation, the onetime Bergen Catholic star pleaded guilty to fourth-degree aggravated assault, recklessly causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest — for running away and jumping a fence while police were chasing him.
How his absence yesterday will affect his eventual sentence was unclear.
Banks is still facing charges out of Englewood for burglarizing a woman’s home and then slashing her car tires when she told him to leave.
Knowing that he was wanted, Banks laid low, city police said at the time. They tracked him down soon after, during which they said he got into a scuffle with them.
Several other police agencies have obtained detainers on Banks for failing to show up for court on charges in their towns, as well.
More than two years ago, he was grabbed along with other members of an offshoot of the infamous James Bond Gang burglary ring following a high-speed police chase and crash after break-ins at homes in Sparta and Jefferson Township.
Charges in other crimes have been pending elsewhere, as well, including in Wayne.
The New Orleans Hornets signed the 6-foot-8-inch Banks as an undrafted rookie free agent in the summer of 2005 and assigned him to the team’s developmental affiliate in Tulsa after he averaged four points a game in pre-season.
After the Hornets waived him, Banks played in Puerto Rico and with other U.S. developmental teams. He became a father and had hopes of playing for Great Britain’s national team. His last hurrah was scoring 14 points in a D-League All-Star game seven years ago.
The naturally gifted Banks wasn’t just any player coming out of Bergen County. At Memphis University, he was the Conference USA Freshman of the Year a decade ago, scoring 17.4 points per game and grabbing 6.5 rebounds for a major college program.
But things went sour after he couldn’t meet the academic requirements and left school.
Banks’s criminal history began with charges of drunk driving and the gang-related marking of a girl with a cigarette.
It got worse fast.
Banks was in an SUV that took off after being stopped for speeding in August 2011 a short time after a pair of nearby burglaries. The vehicle flipped during the chase, trapping him and three other men with him inside. Inside the SUV, police said, they recovered more than $20,000 worth of stolen goods.
Since then, Banks has been arrested several times and made bail each time.
STORY / FILE PHOTO: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
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