Former NBA player Sebastian Telfair gets 3.5 years in prison in gun possession case

Sebastian Telfair played for eight NBA teams over 10 years after Portland made him a first-round pick in 2004. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The former Brooklyn high school basketball star was convicted of one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in April.

Sebastian Telfair played for eight NBA teams over 10 years after Portland made him a first-round pick in 2004.
Sebastian Telfair played for eight NBA teams over 10 years after Portland made him a first-round pick in 2004. Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

Troubled ex-NBA guard Sebastian Telfair was sentenced Monday to 3-1/2 years in prison for gun possession.

Police found Telfair, 33, with a loaded .45 caliber gun back in June 2017, when NYPD officers stopped a car Telfair was driving along a Clinton Hill stretch of Atlantic Avenue at around 2:05 a.m. Telfair was convicted of one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in April following a jury trial.

“This defendant exercised his right to a jury trial and was found guilty of possessing an illegal firearm,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a statement. “The mandatory prison sentence he received today is required by law, and he has now been held accountable for the unlawful conduct.”

Telfair, now listed with an official residence in Orlando, Florida, was born in Brooklyn and raised in Coney Island’s Surfside Gardens NYCHA projects. He was heavily recruited while playing basketball at Abraham Lincoln High School, at the time one of the most promising young athletes in the country.

After the Portland Trail Blazers selected him in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft, Telfair played for eight NBA teams in 10 years before finishing his professional career overseas. 

Police in an unmarked police car said they noticed Telfair’s Ford F-150 parked on a center median near the intersection of Atlantic and Classon avenues before I drove off without its headlights on, according to officer testimony. As police approached the vehicle, they said they smelled marijuana in the car and saw a lit joint in the car’s console.

Police then conducted a search of the car and found the loaded gun inside the center console, according to trial testimony.

Vincent Barone