Ex-MSU basketball star Keith Appling: 'I let a lot of people down'

Former Michigan State University basketball star Keith Appling apologized for his actions during his sentencing today and told a judge: “I’m extremely disappointed in myself and I know I let a lot of people down."

Appling, 25, was sentenced to a year in jail in connection with a gun case.

“I know I’ve made some mistakes,” he said during the court hearing. “But I definitely learned from them, and I’m just ready to get my life back on track.”

Afterward, a deputy escorted Appling from the courtroom to begin serving his sentence in the Wayne County Jail.

Appling was arrested on Aug. 28 and pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and attempted resisting and obstructing a police officer as part of a plea deal reached last month.   

The case was the third in which he faced charges over a four-month period last year. Prosecutors dismissed the other two cases against Appling as part of the plea agreement.

During his sentencing before Wayne County Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon today, the defense played of video featuring Appling. It showed him painting and cleaning up Pershing High School, where he played basketball, and talking to kids.

He said he wanted to show the video so the judge would know the real him.

In the video, he apologized for his “poor decisions," and vowed not to repeat them.

He also said he’s learned from “the embarrassment I’ve caused my family, my community, my university, my high school and myself."

Appling, a former star at Pershing High School in Detroit, was a point guard at MSU in 2010-14.

In addition to one year in jail with no early release, a sentence agreement in the case requires him to spend five years on probation.

Detroit police stopped Appling on a traffic violation near 7 Mile and Russell in August. Officials said when a police officer reached in the car to get his identification, Appling drove off while the officer's hand was still in the window.

Appling threw a Gucci bag from his car that had his name on it and a handgun inside, authorities said.

The case followed two others, both involving guns.

Police arrested Appling outside a strip club in Dearborn in May 2016. At the time, authorities said they found a handgun under the driver's seat of the car Appling was in, a loaded weapon in the trunk and a small amount of suspected marijuana inside the car.

In June 2016, Detroit police arrested Appling, and he was also accused of having a gun in that case.

Judge Talon said today he’s confident and hopeful Appling will learn from his mistakes and his decisions will be better going forward.

Appling’s attorney, W. Otis Culpepper, told the court he has spent time with his client outside of court, called him a good person and said what happened was an isolated period in Appling’s life.

There are teams in Europe still interested in his basketball skills, he said.

"As hard as this may be in his life, I think he will recover from it," Culpepper said. “I think he will rebound from it. I think he will go on to be a success.”

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Contact Elisha Anderson: eanderson@freepress.com or 313-222-5144. Follow on Twitter: @elishaanderson

© 2017 Detroit Free Press


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