St. John’s has released 7-1 recruit Zach Brown from his national letter of intent following his most recent arrest.
The school announced its decision Tuesday to give Brown a complete release to pursue opportunities with another school.
Brown, ranked as the No. 35 player in the class by ESPN, was arrested earlier this month in Florida for allegedly stealing money from a Walgreen’s cash register. He was charged with first-degree petit theft misdemeanor, driving with a suspended license and an expired tag.
“It was a mutual decision to release Zach from his national letter of intent,” St. John’s coach Chris Mullin said in a statement. “We wish him the best of luck.”
He also was charged last May with credit card fraud and robbery in Miami.
Brown currently attends Calusa Prep in Kendall after spending time during his junior year at Miami High and briefly at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut. He also attended Miami Beach High.
Brown was previously a Connecticut commit before selecting St. John’s and signing with the Red Storm in November. He had moved to Connecticut last year to be near the program but was asked to leave Putnam Science following an on-court altercation with opposing players.
As chronicled by USA TODAY High School Sports, Brown grew up in poverty and was living in the Liberty City section of Miami before he was adopted by Michael Lipman in 2013. The court had taken Brown and his brother away from their biological mother and their aunt, who was given custody, eventually said she was no longer willing to raise them.
“They come from the most horrific situation you could imagine,” Lipman said of Zach and his brother. “The judge said he had never seen a worse case.”