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A soft-spoken star
In a 2005 Star Tribune article, Newbern was quoted as saying that one of the reasons he could relate well to people in his field of juvenile corrections is because he once was an at-risk youth himself.
“I grew up ghetto, so to speak, in the inner city, but I always knew I was going to make it, because my siblings did, and because my mom was there for us,” he said.
In the late 1980s, Newbern was a captain and star point guard on Clem Haskins’ men’s basketball team at the university. In 1990, the team he was on got within one game of making the Final Four, losing a thriller to Georgia Tech.
Newbern played one season for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA and for several European teams. He also coached a local women’s community college basketball team.
Noel said Newbern is a soft-spoken man who wasn’t enraged when he approached the attorney about filing a lawsuit. Noel didn’t hesitate to say that he believes Newbern’s traffic stop was race-based.
“He was never refusing during the incident,” he said. “You can’t do what they did to him when he was in handcuffs.”
David Chanen • 612-673-4465