Former UK basketball player Rekalin Sims won't serve jail time

Punishment set aside but could be reinstated

jkegley@herald-leader.comJuly 30, 2011 

Rekalin Sims

A former University of Kentucky basketball player was sentenced Friday in Fayette Circuit Court for trafficking marijuana.

Rekalin Sims was charged March 4 with trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school. He later entered an Alford plea — meaning he did not admit guilt but recognized there was enough evidence to convict him — to a misdemeanor charge of trafficking marijuana.

Judge Pamela Goodwine, noting that Sims has no previous criminal convictions, sentenced him to 12 months in jail but conditionally discharged the sentence for two years, meaning Sims will remain out of jail unless he gets into trouble with the law.

"This is an opportunity for you to prove to the court, the commonwealth and to your attorney that you can be compliant with the law," Goodwine said.

If Sims is arrested before serving out the conditional discharge, he will have to serve the 12-month sentence.

His attorney, Stephen McFayden, said he recommended Sims enter the Alford plea to the lesser charge rather than risk going to trial and being sentenced to years in jail if he was found guilty.

"He wants to put this behind him," McFayden said. "From what I understand, it was a big misunderstanding between him and another party.

"He freely admits to his part in it, but he had absolutely no part in the trafficking whatsoever."

Sims played forward for UK under Coach Tubby Smith during the 2005-06 season after transferring from Salt Lake Community College.

He then transferred to Fresno State for his senior year, but he was removed from the team in December 2007 after a California judge dismissed felony robbery charges against him. Although the charges were dropped, Sims was kicked off the team for violating the code of conduct.

Goodwine gave Sims permission to return to his home in California next week.

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