One look at Tony Farmer’s athletic build and you’ll be able to guess his sport without thinking. Tony Farmer was set for great things and was already well on his way. However, a stupid mistake made the sun fall on his chances, as a dark cloud was cast over his future. Perhaps, his skill and the praise it brought to him got to his head or maybe he developed an ego bigger than his stature.
Tony’s story is one that should remind everyone that one wrong move, one silly mistake can alter the course of your life – often with huge consequences that will last a lifetime. Thankfully, the basketballer’s story does not end in the dark.
Tony’s Biography: Who is Tony Farmer the NBA Star?
Farmer is an undoubtedly skilled basketball player who started at a very young age. There is no information about his personal life: parent’s identity, siblings, elementary education, etc. Tony’s date of birth has been put at either 1994 or 1995 by different sources.
The earliest recorded instance of Tony Farmer playing basketball was his time at Garfield Heights High School, a public high school in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Farmer played as a small forward for his high school basketball team. He had both his talent and his build going for him. His skills were amplified by the fact that he stood an intimidating height of 6 feet 7 inches (2m), giving him a range and reach envied by a huge percentage of basketball players.
It seemed the only direction Tony knew was forward. He was an incredible asset for his team when he led them to the Division 1 Ohio State Playoffs semi-finals in his sophomore campaign. That season, he earned an average of 20.4 points per game, effectively bagging a second-team All-Ohio recognition in Division 1.
He was a 4-star recruit and a mainstay on the list of Top 100 high school players in the country. Rivals.com put him at No.86 on their prospect list for the class of 2013. He was just 18 years old at the time and with all his success, one could tell that his potential was still largely untapped.
Before tragedy struck, Farmer was being chased by a plethora of Division 1 schools and also some Big Ten programs. And then one day, for whatever reason that is still not completely known, Tony Farmer let loose on the young woman he was dating at the time, Andrea Lane. Worse still is the fact that the entire incident was caught on camera. The video footage showed the basketball star brutally beating up his girlfriend, and then after he realized the trouble he’d put himself in, made the poor choice of threatening her life. Many argue that this was probably the main reason that landed him in court.
Farmer’s court case experienced heavy news coverage and polarized opinions across the nation. While some believed he deserved the most extreme punishment, a lot of others didn’t – including the victim, his girlfriend.
During the course of the trial, a delegation of staff and students from Garfield Heights came to court to defend their fallen hero. Everyone from his teachers, his coach, and some of his friends spoke in favor of Tony. His girlfriend also said that he was once a good guy and that she still believed he was. She even pleaded for the basketball star not to be sentenced to prison.
Unfortunately, their testimonies could not sway the case. Many said that the judge was probably trying to make an example of him. In August 2012, Tony Farmer was handed a three-year prison sentence by the presiding judge, Pamela Barker. He was found guilty of kidnapping, felonious assault, robbery, and intimidating his former girlfriend. He memorably fell to the floor at the reading of the verdict as the realization of the situation dawned on him. His reaction to the announcement became one of the most viral memes of the early meme era.
Has Tony been released and where is he now?
Many slowly forgot his story and focused on the other talents that were consistently breaking through the ranks every season. Tony Farmer was nothing more than a statistic – another name in the immensely long list of could-have-beens.
However, his story did not end this way. To his credit, Farmer put his head down and did his time without any further controversy. He did not fall into the trappings of the stereotype that has gobbled many black males in prison. He was released in June 2015, having done his time, learned his lesson, and developed a new resolve to pick up his career where he left off.
Post-prison, Farmer started with his best foot-forward by penning a deal to play for Division II Junior College, Lincoln University in Illinois. However, the deal did not pan out as he was denied admission into the college. The door that Lincoln shut in his face opened the way for Lee College’s Runnin’ Rebels in Baytown, Texas to swoop in and recruit the former star. Here, he joined the likes of Andre Pierce, Andre Edwards, Diing Diing, and former Orlando Magic player Nick Anderson’s son, Malik Anderson.
Tony, hungry for success, took this opportunity by the throat. His freshman year in the 2015/2016 season saw him average 16.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in the 31 games he played. In the next season, he took those numbers up, averaging 17.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists. At the end of the season, the talented baller turned pro and submitted his name for the 2017 NBA draft but was undrafted.
Off the pitch, Tony Farmer is clearly a changed person. He constantly uses his story to inspire, encourage, and offer guidance to young athletes and youths in general. His life is a true rehabilitation story; one that has helped him fall and make his way back to the top. Still, it is clear that he is just getting started.