Prized Texas recruit Mohamed Bamba was accused by his older brother in a rambling, profanity-laden FaceBook video of having accepted cash and gifts from a financial advisor in Michigan.
Ibrahim Johnson, a 6-foot-7 forward whose basketball career ended at Division II Montevallo, posted the 22-minute video on Wednesday afternoon. Shirtless and sitting poolside, Johnson alleged that Bamba accepted $200 a week in cash, vacations and gifts, including a California king size bed, from Greer Love, who is a vice president at Huron Capital. Love has degrees from Indiana and Michigan and previously worked at Watch Hill Partners, an Investment Bank in New York, according to his Huron Capital bio.
“He’s not going to play this year in the NCAA because I already reported him to the NCAA and I’m already going to meet with the NCAA,” said Johnson. “He’s not going to play this year. I’m not going to lie to you. I exposed that kid.”
The impetus for Johnson’s decision to turn Bamba in was a rift between the family that he alleges was caused by Love. Johnson was planning on following Bamba to whatever school he chose, enrolling in graduate school there and taking classes to become an NBA agent to represent Bamba. Bamba, according to Johnson, cut him out of the process. This is his revenge.
“We’re aware of the recent social media post regarding our men’s basketball student-athlete Mohamed Bamba,” a Texas spokesman told NBC Sports. “As is usual practice by the NCAA, Mo’s amateur status was previously reviewed and final certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. The NCAA has not informed us of any pending issues or eligibility concerns at this time regarding Mo. If there are further questions, we certainly will cooperate with the NCAA to the fullest.”
Johnson has his own issues to deal with. He’s been arrested at least three times in the last month — for possession of marijuana in Beaufort, South Carolina; for forgery in Ohio; and for hit-and-run in Bay City, Florida — and, according to a report from 247 Sports, he currently has five outstanding warrants.
Bamba’s oldest brother, Sidiki Johnson, is currently an inmate at Greene Penitentiary in Coxsackie, New York. He’s currently two years into a four-year sentence for second degree attempted robbery and third degree robbery. Sidiki played at Arizona and Providence before washing out of basketball.
Love, according to sources, has long been Bamba’s mentor, dating back to when Bamba was 10 years old. He is “actively involved in ‘Locke’s Lions’, an academic and athletic mentorship program for students who attended Public School 208 in Harlem.” Public School 208 is named Alain L. Locke Elementary, and sources told NBC Sports that is where Bamba and Love first met. In 2009, a fifth-grader from Locke named Mohamed Bamba had a letter to President Obama published in Newsweek.
Love helped manage Bamba’s recruitment, and according to a source, the relationship between the two has been cleared and vetted by the NCAA. There was a clear, pre-existing relationship between the two parties before Bamba was out of elementary school.
Love released the following statement to 247Sports:
“When Mo asked me to guide him and help coordinate the logistics of his recruitment. I immediately engaged the former Chief Compliance Officer of two Big 10 / Big 12 schools, who provided frequent consultation on a variety of matters. Doing things the right way has been our top priority since day one. Mo’s got way too much to lose to take any chances on anything even remotely impermissible. With my 9-year, pre-existing relationship on the line with Mo personally, let alone his college eligibility, I took several additional measures to ensure that Mo was fully compliant every step of the way.”
Bamba is a top five prospect in the Class of 2017 and a potential top ten pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. At 7-foot with a 7-foot-9 wingspan, Bamba projects as an elite defensive presence at any level of the sport. His addition, assuming he remains eligible this season, is expected to anchor the Longhorn defense and make Texas an NCAA tournament team.