Illinois star Terrence Shannon Jr. talks legal issues in first public comment since sexual assault trial

CHICAGO, Ill. - Former Illinois star Terrence Shannon Jr. said his June trial will be the deciding factor in his playing future in his first public comments since the start of his sexual assault trial.

Shannon Jr., at the 2024 NBA Combine, said the last five months have been "interesting."

"I have a trial June 10," Shannon Jr. said Tuesday, when asked if he’s confident that he will be playing in the NBA this year. "That will be the deciding factor."

Shannon Jr. was the third-leading scorer in the NCAA last season. His comments on Tuesday morning were his public comments since December 22, and he spoke on his legal standing following an alleged incident on Sept. 9, 2023, in Lawrence, Kansas, where Shannon Jr. was arrested and charged with rape.

Shannon Jr. was suspended for six games, but had his suspension overturned after filing a temporary restraining order against the University of Illinois.

Illinois won the Big Ten Tournament title and earned an Elite Eight appearance. He had a preliminary hearing last week in Lawrence. Shannon Jr. said it was not hard to focus.

"I don't think it's hard to focus at all," Shannon Jr. said. "I feel like once you got your mindset on something, and you put your mind to it, you're going to do that. That's me controlling what I can control."

Shannon Jr. said he wanted to convey to NBA teams that he's a player that he's the best "two-way" player in the draft, puts in the work, doesn't take plays off and that he's a good teammate.

"I feel like I'm a good kid," Shannon Jr. said. "I just take care of everybody around me."

In his previous court appearance on May 10, Shannon Jr. testified that he never touched the woman, the Journal-World reported. Judge Sally Pokorny then ordered Shannon to stand trial and allowed him to remain free on $50,000 bond.

That leads Shannon Jr. to his scheduled court appearance on June 10.

"I’m looking forward to my day in court," Shannon Jr. said.