Ben McLemore said Friday he has had a relationship with Rodney Blackstock, a middleman who courted the Kansas standout on behalf of sports agents and financial advisers, since January. "Rodney Blackstock has been great," McLemore said in Chicago at the NBA pre-draft combine. "Since Day One, since I met him, we have got that bond and communicating very well. And that's why I chose him to help me with this process." On May 4, USA TODAY Sports reported that Blackstock received complimentary admission as McLemore's guest to Jayhawks home games on Feb. 2, 11 and March 4. Asked Friday by Derek Page of Hoopsworld why he wanted Blackstock at his games as a guest, McLemore said: "Just because, you know, it was a friend, I just wanted him to see me play, see, you know, the atmosphere there at Kansas, and just go to a game." McLemore's former AAU coach Darius Cobb told USA TODAY Sports in the May 4 story that he accepted two cash payments of $5,000 during the regular season from Blackstock, the founder and CEO of Hooplife Academy, a sports mentoring organization based in Greensboro, N.C. McLemore said that he was not aware that Cobb accepted money from Blackstock. And McLemore said he never accepted money, gifts or trips from Blackstock. Cobb said McLemore knew "little to none" about Blackstock's financial involvement in the player's life, nor did McLemore know that Cobb had accepted $10,000 from Blackstock.
Ben McLemore confirms bond with Rodney Blackstock
USA Today | May 18