Former USA basketball player goes to prison

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - A former University of South Alabama basketball player was sentenced to life in prison for robbing a woman at gunpoint outside a bowling alley.

Circuit Judge Charles Graddick sentenced 24-year-old Ernest James Little on Thursday for the Jan. 30, 2008 robbery in which he stole the woman's purse.

Little, who transferred to USA from UAB, had a lengthy criminal record and was suspended from the USA team in April 2007 for a Monroeville motel robbery.

Little's lawyer, Lee Hale Jr., said that his client told Graddick he had hooked up with "bad people" when asked how he could have squandered such a promising life.

Little had been a starting center on a scholarship and athletic agents expressed interest in a possible professional career before his suspension.

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