Former UMKC basketball player Martez Harrison is no longer facing an assault charge and says he is preparing for a chance to play professionally.
Harrison’s senior season ended after six games with the Kangaroos. He was dismissed from the team in December and suspended from the university for one year after being accused of domestic violence against his girlfriend and mother of their 2-year-old daughter.
The suspension fell under the school’s Title IX guidelines. A university investigation determined Harrison committed “dating/intimate partner violence,” according to UMKC.
A police report also was made and Harrison was charged in Kansas City Municipal Court with one count of assault. He faced 180 days in jail and/or a fine if found guilty. A judge dismissed the case April 12.
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“I was very thankful for that,” Harrison said. “At the end of the day, there’s no one to blame other than myself for everything. I take full responsibility and blame for everything that occurred.”
The Star contacted the woman Harrison is alleged to have assaulted. She did not wish to be identified. She said she didn’t attend any of Harrison’s court appearances and was “relieved the case was dismissed. (We) have a good relationship for us and our daughter.”
As UMKC was building a season that ended with an 18-17 record and a victory in the program’s first postseason appearance, the College Basketball Invitational, Harrison said he was working for his father’s lawn care service and taking his daughter to and from day care.
Harrison kept up with the Kangaroos, watching or listening to games, and sent encouraging messages to teammates.
“It would have been embarrassing to go to the games,” Harrison said. “But they were still my guys.”
As Harrison’s basketball career unfolded — he was chosen Western Athletic Conference freshman of the year in 2014 and player of the year in 2015 — he thought of playing basketball at the next level. That notion didn’t stop with his dismissal.
Harrison stayed in basketball shape by working out and maintaining a training regimen with his former AAU coach, Victor Williams.
He said he delivered a message to younger AAU players before leaving Kansas City to California to prepare for a pre-NBA Draft camp.
“I was losing sight of who I was as a person and what was important,” Harrison said he told the group.
“I told them I was playing college basketball and was happy doing it, but then I lost track and got into this situation and couldn’t play anymore. I was glad I was able to talk to them.”