Smith gets probation for violating earlier court order

URBANA, Ill. -- Former Illinois basketball player Jamar Smith was sentenced to 18 months of probation on Wednesday for violating an earlier court order stemming from his 2007 drunken-driving arrest.

A Champaign County judge agreed to a deal in which Smith will continue to get alcohol-abuse treatment and wear an ankle bracelet that will alert authorities if he drinks. If Smith violates his probation, he'll spend six months in the county jail and could wind up in prison.

As part of the agreement worked out between Smith's attorney and prosecutors, the 21-year-old Peoria native will move to Evansville, Ind., and work in a local grocery store while he prepares to enroll at Southern Indiana for spring classes. He hopes eventually to play basketball there.

Smith apologized in court Wednesday for letting down his coaches and teammates at Illinois and people in Champaign-Urbana who supported him.

"I want to say that I am an alcoholic; I'm not saying that for show," Smith told Judge Richard Klaus. "I understand it's going to be a struggle and I'm going to fight for my whole life."

Smith pleaded guilty last year to felony driving under the influence causing great bodily harm. He drove a car into a tree in February 2007, injuring former teammate Brian Carlwell.