EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill faces a felony assault charge after his girlfriend accused him of choking and shoving her in Houston earlier this year.
Hill is charged with assaulting 28-year-old Darlene Luna on Feb. 29 at his apartment while the New York Knicks' former first-round draft pick was playing for the Houston Rockets.
The 24-year-old Hill was charged by Harris County prosecutors in March, and he has a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday in Houston.
Hill was apologetic, but said little about the accusations after the Lakers' practice at their training complex Monday.
"I just want to apologize to fans, to the Lakers, the organization, to everyone," Hill said. "I can't speak on it right now. I'm going to let my attorney, my agents take care of that. Unfortunately, it happened at this time, but I'm going to keep my head up, keep working, keep playing."
When asked if he would be able to play in Game 2 of the Lakers' playoff series against Denver, Hill replied: "I'll be here, but we'll see."
The charge could affect a remarkable recent rise by the 6-foot-10 Hill, who has contributed valuable minutes off the bench for the Lakers in three straight games after playing little since arriving March 15 in a trade for Derek Fisher. Hill had 10 points and 10 rebounds while playing 24 minutes in the Lakers' 103-88 series-opening victory over Denver on Sunday.
"We had a conversation," Lakers coach Mike Brown said. "He has talked to Mitch (Kupchak, the Lakers' general manager). But it's not that we're worried about his mental focus. We just told him that we're behind him."
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