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Former NBA Player Craig Ehlo Arrested on Felony Domestic Violence Charge

WESTCHESTER, CA - JANUARY 24: FSN Northwest announcer Craig Ehlo speaks before the broadcast of the game between the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Loyola Marymount Lions on January 24, 2009 at Gersten Pavilion in Westchester, California.  Gonzaga won 93-60.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
Jeff Golden/Getty Images
Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIAugust 1, 2013

Retired NBA small forward Craig Ehlo was arrested Thursday on a felony domestic violence charge.

The staff at The Spokesman-Review first broke the news and noted in its report that Ehlo was taken away by Spokane County sheriff's deputies and booked into the county jail at 7:36 a.m. local time.

The report then went on to give more details on the incident:

When fire crews arrived, they reported finding family members engaged in an altercation and a fire burning a large pile of clothes. Firefighters then requested deputies to respond, Chamberlin said.

“As (deputies) approached, they saw two males holding down another male on the ground, who was Craig” Ehlo, Chamberlin said.

Deputies detained Ehlo and began to question witnesses.

“Through the investigation, the deputies learned that Craig had a domestic dispute. He had been arguing with his wife earlier in the evening,” he said.

The family members then heard strange noises coming from the garage. They went out and “saw Craig piling up clothes next to the garage and he lit them on fire,” Chamberlin said.

The family members told the deputies they were holding Ehlo down because “they thought he was … going to run and jump onto the fire. That’s why he was being detained on the ground.”

Ehlo has been specifically charged with first-degree burning and domestic violence, per the sheriff's office, which amounts to a Class C felony.

Ehlo, 51, was drafted into the Association by the Houston Rockets out of Washington State University in 1983. During his playing career, he spent time with four different franchises in total, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and finally the former Seattle SuperSonics.

As The Spokesman-Review points out, Ehlo resigned from his coaching position on July 11 at Eastern Washington University and has also worked as a TV analyst for the SuperSonics and Gonzaga basketball.

The roots of Ehlo's career on and off the court have largely been linked to the Washington state area.

However, a moderately successful, 14-year stead in the NBA, in which Ehlo averaged 8.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, will always be overshadowed by one historic moment during his time in Cleveland.   

Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan hit one of the most renowned game-winners in NBA lore over Ehlo in the 1989 playoffs during the clinching Game 5 of their Eastern Conference opening-round series.

Jordan broke open on the in-bound play and dribbled toward the free-throw line, where he elevated high and drained the jumper to give Chicago a 101-100 victory. He broke out into a jubilant celebration, while Ehlo fell to the floor in the immediate aftermath.

While that was obviously a huge moment, Ehlo is now facing far more serious circumstances. 

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