Illinois G Terrence Shannon Jr. preparing for draft, rape trial

CHICAGO — Terrence Shannon Jr. faces rape and sexual assault charges in Kansas next month in a trial scheduled to begin two weeks before the 2024 NBA Draft.

Illinois’ All-American guard was briefly suspended last season when the allegations became public, but gained reinstatement when a judge ruled he was suspended without due process. Shannon was not available to the media upon his return and did not discuss the matter publicly until he was asked about his situation at the NBA Draft Combine on Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m fine. I’m perfectly fine mentally. I’m controlling what I can control and that’s handling things day-to-day and that’s been working. Getting ready for my dream to play in the NBA,” Shannon said.

“I have a trial June 10. I can’t really talk much about it but I’m looking forward to my day in court.”

Shannon, 23, is projected as a first-round pick but his status is obviously subject to NBA and team investigators who are working to learn more details about the alleged incident in Lawrence, Kan. Shannon was on a trip with friends and teammates to the University of Kansas before Illinois played the Jayhawks in a Friday night football game.

The alleged incident occurred Sept. 9, 2023, at Jayhawk Cafe. A preliminary hearing was held in Douglas County (Kan.) and Shannon was ordered to appear at the trial.

He said he’ll be open and share his side with NBA teams who want to know what happened if his attorneys allow him to discuss it.

After a temporary restraining order ended Shannon’s suspension, he was allowed to rejoin the team and work back into the lineup. In the final 18 games of his career, he averaged 25.4 points and helped Illinois reach the Elite Eight in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

Shannon said he wants to prove himself on the court after a stellar college career at Texas Tech and Illinois, where he played the past two seasons. But he’s limited by a hamstring injury and not participating in full-court scrimmages or athletic testing during this week’s event.

“I feel like I’m the best two-way player in this draft,” said Shannon. “I feel like I bring intensity, really high character, I compete at the highest level and I’m never going to take no days off.”