One look at Tony Farmer’s athletic physique is enough to guess his sport without thinking. Tony was prepared for big things and was already on the right track. But a stupid mistake let the sun fall on his chances when a dark cloud was thrown over his future. Perhaps his skill and the praise it brought him went to his head, or perhaps he developed an ego larger than his stature.
Tony’s story should remind everyone that one wrong step, one stupid mistake can change the course of your life – often with enormous consequences that will last a lifetime. Fortunately, the story of the basketball player does not end in the dark.
Tony’s Biography: Who is Tony Farmer the NBA Star?
Farmer is an undoubtedly talented basketball player who started playing basketball at a very young age. There is no information about his personal life: Parents’ identities, siblings, primary schooling, et cetera. Tony’s date of birth was set by various sources as either 1994 or 1995.
The earliest recorded case where Tony Farmer played basketball was 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. His abilities were enhanced by the fact that he had an intimidating height of 6 feet (6 feet 7 inches), which gave him a range and reach that a large percentage of basketball players envied.
It seemed the only direction Tony knew was forward. He was an incredible asset to his team as he led them to the semi-finals of Division 1 Ohio State Playoffs playoffs in his second season. This season, he earned an average of 20.4 points per game, earning him the recognition of All-Ohio’s second team in Division 1.
He was a 4-star recruit and a mainstay on the list of the 100 best high school players in the country. Rivals.com ranked him 86th on their list of 2013 class candidates when he was just 18 years old and for all his success, it was clear that his potential was largely untapped.
Before the tragedy struck, Farmer was being hounded by a number of Division 1 schools, as well as some Big Ten programs. And then, one day, for whatever reason, which is still not fully understood, Tony Farmer unleashed on the young woman he was with at the time, Andrea Lane. Worse still, the entire incident was captured on camera. The footage showed the basketball star brutally beating up his girlfriend, and then, after realizing the trouble he had gotten himself into, made the bad choice of threatening her life. Many argue that this was probably the main reason why he ended up in court.
The trial of the farmers was widely reported in the news and polarized opinions across the country. While some believed he deserved the most extreme punishment, many others did not – including the victim, his girlfriend.
During the trial, a delegation of staff and students from Garfield Heights came to court to defend their fallen heroes. All of his teachers, his coach, and some of his friends spoke out for Tony. His girlfriend also said that he was once a good guy and that she still believed he was. She even pleaded that the basketball star should not be sentenced to prison.
Unfortunately, her testimony could not affect the case. Many said the judge was probably trying to make an example of him. In August 2012 Tony Farmer was sentenced to three years in prison by the presiding judge, Pamela Barker. He was found guilty of kidnapping, aggravated assault, robbery, and intimidation of his former girlfriend. He fell memorably to the ground at the reading of the verdict as it dawned on him to realize the situation. His reaction to the verdict became one of the most viral memes of the early meme era.
Has Tony Farmer been released and where is he now?
Many slowly forgot his story and focused on the other talents that kept pushing through the ranks each season. Tony Farmer was nothing more than a statistic – another name in the immensely long list of “Could have been”.
But his story did not end in this way. To his credit, Farmer put his head down and served his time without further controversy. He did not fall into the traps of the stereotype that has swallowed up many black men in prison. He was released in June 2015 after serving his time, learning his lesson, and developing a new resolve to pick up his career where he left off.
After prison, Farmer began playing with his best striker by writing a contract to play for Division II Junior College at Lincoln University in Illinois. The deal did not work out, however, because he was refused admission to the college. The door Lincoln slammed in his face opened the way for the Runnin’ Rebels of Lee College in Baytown, Texas, to recruit the former star. Here he joined people like Andre Pierce, Andre Edwards, Diing Diing, and the son of former Orlando Magic player Nick Anderson, Malik Anderson.
Tony, hungry for success, took this opportunity by the throat. In his first year in the 2015/2016 season, he averaged 16.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in the 31 games he played. The next season he caught up with these numbers and averaged 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 not drafted.
Off the field, Tony Farmer is clearly a different person. He constantly uses his story to inspire, encourage, and guide young athletes and youth in general. His life is a true rehabilitation story; one that has helped him fall and get back on top. Nevertheless, it is clear that he is only just beginning.