Cleaves with the Seattle SuperSonics in 2006
|Born||September 3, 1977|
|Listed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Listed weight||205 lb (93 kg)|
|High school||Flint Northern|
|College||Michigan State (1996-2000)|
|NBA draft||2000 / Round: 1 / Pick: 14th overall|
|Selected by the Detroit Pistons|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Mateen Ahmad Cleaves (born September 7, 1977) is a retired American basketball player. He played parts of six seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was an All-American college player for Michigan State, where he led the Spartans to a national championship in 2000.
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He was a heavily recruited high school athlete. His recruiting trip with the Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team touched off a major scandal after he was a passenger in a rollover accident. Cleaves eventually agreed to attend Michigan State University, the University of Michigan's in-state rival. He is one of the four MSU players from Flint, Michigan, dubbed "The Flintstones."
The school's only three-time All-American, Cleaves was named Big Ten Player of the Year twice. He led MSU and the conference in career assists with 816, and is Michigan State's all-time steals leader (193). In his final home game on senior night in East Lansing, Cleaves dished out 20 assists, breaking the Big Ten single-game and career assist marks.
On February 3, 2007, Cleaves became the eighth MSU player to have his number retired.
Cleaves was traded to the Sacramento Kings shortly before the 2001-02 season for Jon Barry and a first-round draft pick. After two seasons playing sparingly, he signed as a free agent with the Boston Celtics, but was waived before the 2003-04 season. He played with the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games. He was then signed by the Seattle SuperSonics, was cut during the 2004-05 season, and re-signed during the following season.
Following his NBA stint, Cleaves appeared for the Fayetteville Patriots and the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League, also playing abroad with Russia's Unics Kazan and Greece's Panionios BC. In 2008, he played with the Denver Nuggets in their pre-season, but was waived before the October 29 tip-off.
On March 14, 2010, it was announced that Cleaves had joined Fox Sports Detroit as a Detroit Pistons studio analyst. In addition Cleaves has branched out into music as an owner of the record label All Varsity Entertainment, featuring Jon Connor.
In October 2015, Cleaves was investigated for his role in an alleged sexual assault. Cleaves was accused of taking a 24-year-old woman to a motel in Mundy Township, on September 15, 2015, keeping her against her will and sexually assaulting her. He was released on a $150,000 personal bond. The case was handled by Wayne County because Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton had a conflict of interest.
On December 5, 2016, after reviewing surveillance video and the alleged victim's testimony, all charges against Cleaves were dismissed by District Court Judge M. Cathy Dowd. Prosecutors promptly appealed. On April 10, 2017, Genesee Circuit Court Judge Archie L. Hayman ruled that District Court Judge M. Cathy Dowd abused her discretion in finding no probable cause that Cleaves committed a crime, remanding the case to district court and ordering it bound over for a jury trial. On May 16, 2017, Cleaves' attorneys appealed the decision to the Michigan Court of Appeals, arguing that Judge Hayman "ignored the evidence of the case." On August 1, 2017, it was announced three Michigan Court of Appeals judges denied Cleaves' request to review a judge's decision to reinstate sexual assault charges against him. On January 4, 2018, it was announced that the Michigan Supreme Court declined to review a judge's decision to reinstate sexual assault charges against Cleaves. In August 2019, the case returned to county court for trial, and on August 20, 2019, Cleaves was acquitted of all charges. A video published on the Internet shows the woman attempting to resist him as he pulls her back to the hotel room. Cleaves attorney Frank J. Manley released a statement saying that Cleaves was doing the right thing by pulling a naked woman back into the hotel room and allowed her to leave when fully dressed. Manley also stated that Cleaves' case was dismissed previously by a female judge who heard all the evidence and he was acquitted by a jury that had 9 out 12 jurors who were female. Further, the accuser also stated to officers that she had not been raped the night of the alleged assault, admitted to kissing Cleaves, was on camera fixing her hair and make up before entering the hotel with him, and asked him for football tickets shortly after the night of the alleged sexual assault.