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Mateen Ahmad Cleaves (born September 7, 1977) is a retired American basketball player. He played parts of five 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.

Mateen Cleaves
Mateen Cleaves (100071202) (cropped).jpg
Cleaves with the Seattle SuperSonics in 2006
Personal information
Born (1977-09-03) September 3, 1977 (age 42)
Flint, Michigan
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High schoolFlint Northern
(Flint, Michigan)
CollegeMichigan State (1996–2000)
NBA draft2000 / Round: 1 / Pick: 14th overall
Selected by the Detroit Pistons
Playing career2000–2009
Number24, 8
Career history
2000–2001Detroit Pistons
20012003Sacramento Kings
2003–2004Huntsville Flight
2004Cleveland Cavaliers
2004Huntsville Flight
20042006Seattle SuperSonics
2006Fayetteville Patriots
2006–2007UNICS Kazan
2007Bakersfield Jam
2008–2009Bakersfield Jam
Career highlights and awards

College careerEdit

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."

Cleaves, a three-time Michigan State captain, led the Spartans to the 2000 national championship, and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

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.

Professional careerEdit

In 2000, Cleaves was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the fourteenth pick. During his rookie season, he played in 78 games, averaging 5.4 points and 2.7 assists.

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,[1] but was waived before 2003–04's regular season began. He played with the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games. He was then signed by the Seattle SuperSonics, was cut during 2004–05, and re-signed during the following campaign.

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.[2]

NBA career statisticsEdit

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular seasonEdit

2000–01 Detroit 78 8 16.3 .400 .294 .708 1.7 2.7 0.6 0.0 5.4
2001–02 Sacramento 32 0 4.8 .441 .250 .889 0.3 0.8 0.2 0.0 2.2
2002–03 Sacramento 12 0 4.6 .261 1.000 .750 0.7 0.8 0.2 0.0 1.3
2003–04 Cleveland 4 2 23.0 .304 .000 .500 1.8 4.8 1.0 0.5 3.8
2004–05 Seattle 14 0 4.6 .357 .000 .750 0.4 0.5 0.1 0.0 0.9
2005–06 Seattle 27 0 8.5 .352 .250 .792 0.5 1.6 0.1 0.1 2.7
Career 167 10 11.2 .389 .267 .728 1.0 1.9 0.4 0.0 3.6


Post-playing careerEdit

On March 14, 2010, it was announced that Cleaves had joined Fox Sports Detroit as a Detroit Pistons studio analyst.[4] In addition Cleaves has branched out into music as an owner of the record label All Varsity Entertainment, featuring Jon Connor.[5]

Criminal caseEdit

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.[6] 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.[7][8]

On December 5, 2016, despite video evidence of his victim running away multiple times and him dragging her back into the room, all charges against Cleaves were dismissed. 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."[9] 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.[10] 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,[11] 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 John 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. Manly 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.[12] 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.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cleaves waiting for the call
  2. ^ Nuggets waive five players
  3. ^ "Mateen Cleaves Stats |". Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  4. ^ FOX Sports Detroit adds Mateen Cleaves
  5. ^ Hayes, Patrick (November 21, 2009). "Basketball star Mateen Cleaves gets into the music business, managing Flint hip-hop artist Jon Connor". Flint Journal. Flint, Michigan. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
  6. ^ Ridley, Gary (October 23, 2015). "Former MSU basketball star Mateen Cleaves investigated in sex assault case". MLive. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  7. ^ Anderson, Elisha (March 16, 2016). "Mateen Cleaves arraigned in sexual assault case". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  8. ^ Brand-Williams, Oralandar (March 28, 2016). "Cleaves hearing delayed so lawyers can review evidence". The Detroit News. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  9. ^ Goodin-Smith, Ooona (May 16, 2017). "Attorneys want appeals court to hear Mateen Cleaves sex assault case". MLive. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  10. ^ "Court won't review Mateen Cleaves sex assault case". The Detroit News. August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  11. ^ "State high court won't hear Mateen Cleaves sex assault case". Detroit Free Press. January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  12. ^ Mateen Cleaves found not guilty in sex assault trial MLive, August 20, 2019

External linksEdit