Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, left, laughs with assistant coach Book Richardson during practice at the NCAA Basketball Tournament at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

Along with a 15-page motion seeking sentencing leniency for Book Richardson next week, attorney Craig Mordock attached four letters vouching for Richardson's character.

The initial letters filed so far — there could be more before Richardson's May 30 sentencing — are from Tucson attorney John Leader, New Orleans Pelicans scout Alex Kline, former Tulane basketball staffer Tony Chiles and Pepperdine assistant coach Reggie Morris.

Here's some of what they said:

Leader, a Tucson attorney who said he's been a longtime friend of Richardson's in part because their sons have attended school together:

"Besides Emmanuel’s commitment to family, I am impressed by his commitment to the young men who play basketball, many of whom come from broken homes and bad situations. Emmanuel has helped so many young men overcome adversity and make better lives for themselves. Emmanuel is proud of this, and he should be. He has made a difference. He anguishes over letting these people down, as well.

"Emmanuel is deeply remorseful. He is (in my opinion) a remarkable man who overcame significant adversity to succeed in his field. In our many conversations, Emmanuel has accepted responsibility for his actions. He has shed tears on more than one occasion."

Kline, the Pelicans' New Jersey-based basketball operations assistant who has a background as a recruiting analyst:

"The thing about Book that makes him different than most in this trial is that he is unselfish. He is about the right things. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone. He is more willing to sacrifice his name, reputation and likeness, as well as fall on the sword, in order to help others. Book is a truly humble person who has used his tough upbringing and platform to help so many kids. While what he did was wrong, we need to consider all the good he has done. He has been a father and uncle figure to so many student athletes and youngsters trying to make an impact on the game. If you go to any game in the Tri-State area and mention Book’s name, you will hear the impact it has made on them...

"He treats me with the utmost kindness and gives advice. He cares enough to tell me he loves me. He cares so much about his family and wants to be the father and husband and son he couldn’t always be because he was to consumed in trying to be that father to everyone else. Book’s unselfishness and kind, giving heart unfortunately bit him at the end of the day and I do not believe he should suffer for that. He simply wants to provide for his family and help people. While he made a mistake, he is deserving of a second chance."

Chiles, the former Tulane staffer who said he's known Richardson since age 12 and helped him find a job on Sean Miller's Xavier staff:

"He (was) always the kid that would help others, being an active big brother to members of the Children's Aid society.

"After playing high school and college basketball he returned to the community that raised him and gave back as a youth basketball coach. It came a time where I talked to him about becoming a college basketball coach. We didn't have many from our community. I was one on the few. I noticed his love for the game but more importantly his love for the kids in which he interacted with on a daily basis.

"After a successful AAU coaching career, I helped him land his 1st job. He was an immediate success. A natural I would say. The biggest thing he never forgot where he came from and he never lost his love for the game and the kids.

"There is no excuse for the situation he has put himself in. Having spoken to him throughout this set back in his life, I have personally seen Book’s embarrassment and shame. He realizes the hurt and disappointment he has put his family friends and community through. I know his character as a teen, young man and as an adult."

Morris, the Pepperdine assistant who said Richardson has been a mentor for 10 years:

"My letter is not an attempt to paint a perfect image of Mr. Richardson. It is simply an attempt to portray him as the man he has always exhibited himself to be over the course of our relationship. He is a family man who has always shown character, concern and loyalty to anyone he considers family. He is a friend and one of the best people I know. ...

"Book continues to mentor and help others despite working through this tough patch in his life. His "family" has all continued to reach out and express gratitude for all he has done for them. This speaks volumes to the man everyone he encounters sees him to be."

Contact sports reporter Bruce Pascoe at 573-4146 or On Twitter @brucepascoe


Bruce is a veteran Star sports reporter who has also worked at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He graduated from Northwestern University and has an MBA from Thunderbird.