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Devonta Pollard gets fresh start at Houston after agonizing year in kidnapping case

The Dagger

Former McDonald's All-American Devonta Pollard will start over at Houston after avoiding jail time in a kidnapping case that sent his mother to prison for 25 years.

Pollard was the centerpiece of Alabama's 2012 recruiting class but never quite met expectations for the Crimson Tide during his only season in the program, averaging just 3.9 points per game. He transferred last year to East Mississippi Community College near his childhood home in Porterville, Miss., and now will get to play for new Houston coach Kelvin Sampson.

His year in junior college was less about basketball and more about getting the rest of his life back in order.

His mother. Jessie Mae Brown Pollard, was arrested in 2013 and charged with kidnapping a 6-year-old girl as part of a land dispute. Devonta Pollard was also arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, the Clarion-Ledger newspaper reported. Pollard said he didn't know about his mother's plan until it was already unfolding.Five others were also found guilty of playing some role in the case and sentenced to prison time.

The child was taken from an elementary school and returend the next day unharmed.

With his mother unwilling to absolve him of any role in the kidnapping, Pollard ultimately chose to testify against her and she was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Pollard avoided any jail time as long as he stays out of trouble for the next two years.

Now, with an opportunity to refocus and get back to school and basketball, Pollard, a 6-foot-7 forward has an opportunity to help Sampson build a winner at Houston.


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Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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