With no million dollar contract to sign, Renardo Sidney's so-called circle of friends have disappeared including his father. All of that may explain the troubles and the struggles of this one time basketball phenomenon.
As the 2012 NBA Draft unfolded on June 28 it became apparent that Sidney, once the most sought after player in the nation, would not hear his name called by league commissioner David Stern.
"When I didn't get drafted or nobody called my name it was, I thought my life was over with," Sidney said.
Days after going un-drafted, Sidney went in search of what went wrong and the answer was obvious to him.
"I guess nobody wanted to take a chance on another Ron Artest," Sidney said. "Not saying he's a bad person but attitude wise you know my perception out there is real bad."
Renardo Sidney's amazing basketball career began to take shape in middle school, he was expected to play at Forest Hill but ended up at Piney Woods. However, he would never play a game at Piney Woods, because his family moved west to Los Angeles, California.
It is there where he said his troubles began.
"I was a big name in L.A., and I was just getting whatever I wanted and at the age of 15 I don't think nobody would turn that down," Sidney said.
Sidney revealed that no one told him his special treatment was against NCAA rules, however he admitted that would not have made a difference.
"I mean if they did I probably would still take it," Sidney said. "I was brought up with nothing, I had nothing, I barely had clothes. I thought it was an opportunity of a lifetime."
That so-called opportunity would result in Sidney being suspended his entire freshman season in college, the first nine games the following year and ordered to repay $11,800 for receiving improper benefits.
"I kind of lost it, I just stopped doing all the stuff I used to do; working hard, not going to practice, not listening to nobody," Sidney said.
Sidney admitted being punished by the NCAA made him angry and bitter towards anything and anyone his entire college career. That was certainly evident during Mississippi State's trip to Hawaii for the 2010 Diamond Head Classic.
There Sidney got into a nationally televised altercation with teammate Elgin Bailey in the stands.
"Everybody, already thought I was a hot head, and once that played on ESPN I just knew my career was over," Sidney said.
Since leaving Starkville after only two seasons, Sidney has been working hard to clean up his image. He had a public appearance signing autographs at a Mississippi Braves games where he received encouraging words from U.S. Representative Gregg Harper.
"We're praying for you, don't give up," Harper told Sidney. "God's got great things planned for you."
Sidney promised the congressman, as-well-as himself to not give up. Sidney knows moving forward will be a difficult process as he is still considered a villain in the eyes of some Bulldogs fans and officials.
"Can't change what nobody think about you," Sidney said. "Like when everybody, was just telling, 'oh it's your fault the coach got fired,' all this stuff happening like I said earlier nobody going through what I'm going through."
Sidney hand delivered a letter of apology to Mississippi State's athletic director and former head coach Rick Stansbury. The school has not responded or commented on the letter.
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