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SI:Out Of Power: How D.C.'s most prominent AAU coach landed in jail


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On May 28, Curtis Malone’s friends and family shoehorned into the four rows of wooden benches in U.S. District Courtroom 23 in Washington, D.C. Among the two dozen supporters were a former NBA lottery pick and the man who was the highest-paid assistant in college basketball. Some wore tailored suits, others baggy warmup pants and lime-green Under Armour sneakers. Some had on designer sunglasses that hid their tears. They came to show allegiance to a man they knew as a loyal son, caring stepfather, tough-love coach and basketball power broker. They also came to wave goodbye to a man they learned nine months earlier -- when DEA agents busted him with large amounts of cocaine and heroin -- they hardly knew at all.


Malone’s background didn’t suggest that one day almost every NCAA coach in the country -- from Mike Krzyzewski to Billy Donovan to Bob Huggins -- would take his calls. He grew up in a modest home in Palmer Park, Md., outside Washington and didn’t play much ball beyond high school. He had no college degree and had pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine with an intent to distribute in 1991. He worked in the moving business in the early ’90s, but for more than 15 years Malone ran the vaunted D.C. Assault AAU program, producing three NBA lottery picks, helping hundreds of players land Division I scholarships, and receiving millions of dollars from apparel companies. “He was the godfather of D.C. basketball,” says Gwynn Park (Md.) High coach Mike Glick, who has been a coach in the area for 21 years. “If you were a college coach and wanted to recruit in the D.C. area, you had to go through Curtis Malone. 

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Thought I saw a special/story on ESPN about him at some point.  My son's AAU team played Assault a time or two, they always had very talented players, and other teams spoke reverently about them. 


Nothing surprises me about AAU basketball, to be honest.  It is crazy, and the fact that an ex-felon could run a premier youth basketball program doesn't surprise me. 

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