Thursday, October 10, 2013

Jannah Tucker says she was abused

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 In July, highly prized Lady Vols basketball recruit Jannah Tucker decided not to enroll at Tennessee due to personal reasons.

Last week, it was revealed that Tucker's reasons were both personal and tragic.

"There were many instances of physical abuse this past summer, with the last occurring on Tuesday, September 24, 2013," Tucker said in a statement. "I was badly beaten and had several injuries. However, I was never in critical condition nor was I admitted to the hospital."

Baltimore County police arrested Josh Gerrard, 19, of Owings Mills, Md., on Sept. 25 after Tucker's mother told police that her daughter had sent several text messages on Sept. 24 -- including one of a photo of Tucker with a severely bruised left eye -- saying she had been hit by Gerrard and instructing her mother not to call police. According to the report, Tucker had wanted to meet her mother but was being held in the house by Gerrard. He has been charged with second-degree assault.

When police arrived at the home that Gerrard and Tucker had been sharing, they noticed a large bruise and a red mark on Tucker's left cheek and eye, according to the report. Tucker did not receive medical treatment, the police report said.

Gerrard told police he and Tucker "were just playing." Upon his arrival at the police station, Gerrard reportedly threatened to injure the person who reported him.

After the arrest, Tucker "got an emergency temporary protective order against the offender," she said in the statement. "That order was amended October 3rd becoming a permanent protective order which will be in effect for one year."

Tucker and Gerrard had been dating for two years and living together for three months, the police report said.

Tucker, 18, was the No. 8 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz rankings for the 2013 class and became the first underclassman to commit to Tennessee in the post-Pat Summitt era when she announced her decision in June 2012.

She spent part of the summer of 2012 winning a gold medal with USA Basketball at the FIBA Americas in Puerto Rico, but she injured her knee during the tournament. She signed with Tennessee in November but sat out her senior season, nursing her knee injury.

Featuring Tucker, Mercedes Russell (the No. 1 prospect in the 2013 class) and Jordan Reynolds (No. 42), Tennessee's 2013 class was ranked No. 3 in the nation.

But rather than playing basketball, Tucker is now focusing on something much bigger.

"I want what happened to me to inspire other girls to find their own voice and strength," Tucker said in a statement released to Blue Star Media. "… My interest is to help others recognize and prevent domestic violence."

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