Kings star has 150 more hours next summer

Updated: August 9, 2004, 12:06 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Sacramento Kings star Chris Webber has finished half of his court-ordered community involvement -- that was the condition of his bond under his grand jury fraud conviction -- by reading to needy children.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds ordered Webber to perform 150 hours of the community service this summer and 150 hours next summer.

Webber, a former University of Michigan star, pleaded guilty last year to criminal contempt for lying to a federal grand jury. Webber had been questioned about money that basketball booster Ed Martin said he gave Webber during the player's days at Birmingham Detroit Country Day and Michigan.

Webber began his community service July 5 and completed at least 168 hours, said U.S. Probation Officer Phil Miller.

Webber read to 60 students at a Detroit program called Summer Fun Factory. Marygrove College and the Police Athletic League sponsored the program, held at St. James Baptist Church.

"It was a very positive experience for Chris. The most important part for him was to be able to help the kids," said Webber's spokeswoman, Erika Bjork.

Martin, who died last year at age 69, pleaded guilty in May 2002 to conspiracy to launder money. He admitted he took gambling money, combined it with other funds and lent it to several players while they were in school.

The retired autoworker said he gave $616,000 to Webber and three other Wolverines players -- Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor and Louis Bullock -- while they were amateurs. Martin said he gave Webber and his family $280,000 from 1988-93, a period extending from his freshman year in high school through his sophomore season at Michigan.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press