The South Florida basketball community was dealt a saddening blow Sunday, as SFHSSports learned that Miami Beach 7-foot-1 center Zach Brown was arrested for robbery and fraudulent use of a credit card.
According to records, Brown was arrested and booked late Saturday night. The arrest record showed Brown was charged with two counts of robbery by sudden snatching, armed robbery and fraudulent credit card totaling more than $100.
Brown, 18, was taken to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center where he's being held on a $25,000 bond.
SFHSSports attempted to call to Miami Beach head coach Jacob Shaw and Brown's legal guardian Michael Lipman, but neither were promptly returned.
Brown, who's ranked the No. 25 overall prospect in the 2017 class by ESPN, had recently returned to South Florida after spending less than four months in Connecticut attending Putnam Science Academy.
Prior to his short stint in Connecticut, Brown – because of his skyscraping frame – was a big piece of South Florida's basketball puzzle. As an eighth grader, Brown played for veteran coach Charlie Funk on Archbishop Curley's varsity team.
He left the Knights and transferred to Miami Beach, where he played his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Brown then elected to transfer to Miami High, where he spent a portion of his junior year with the Stingarees before being suspended for his role in an on-court altercation during a holiday tournament in Kentucky.
Many believe that Brown's move to Connecticut's Putnam Academy was partially powered by the fact the Brown was committed to UConn at the start of 2016. Brown decommitted from the Huskies in May and reopened his recruiting – still holding scholarship offers from Ohio State, Miami, Kansas, North Carolina and Florida.
"I wanted to get out of Miami, because I had a lot of distractions with suspensions and crazy stuff," Brown told The Hartford Courant in February. "Miami is like a party city, so I wasn't focused mentally. I had to come up here if I wanted to be successful."
Shortly after he enrolled at Putnam, The Courant reported that Brown was asked to leave the school following an on-court altercation with opposing players.
Brown, who's said to have converted to Judaism – the religion of his legal guardian, has had a tumultuous past. The youngest of five, Brown grew up with his biological mother in Liberty City and spent time bouncing around in various foster care programs before he began living with Lipman.
Still, before Brown's recent arrest, he was set to enroll back in Miami Beach High and be one of the top players in South Florida this coming season.
His current status with the school is uncertain.
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