Toby Veal’s career at Paine College ended before it began.
Veal, a 6-foot-7, 245-pound forward who last played basketball for Virginia Commonwealth, was arrested in September for having a weapon in a school building. He was expelled from Paine for violating the school’s weapons policy.
Lions coach Jimmy Link brought in Veal in January to help add impact in the frontcourt. Link said Tuesday he never had an issue with Veal.
“He’s not a bad dude at all. He’s a really nice guy,” Link said. “He’s never been in trouble before. He just made a bad decision.”
Veal, a Savannah, Ga., native, was set to play for his fourth college. On Sept. 27, he got into a confrontation with an ex-girlfriend. Veal pulled a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun. He then locked himself in his dorm room before the resident advisor used a master key to unlock the door. Veal willfully handed over his weapon.
Veal began his collegiate career at Colorado, where he stayed for one season before transferring to Northwest Florida State College, a junior college in Niceville, Fla. He then transferred to Virginia Commonwealth, where he posted six points and five rebounds in a 2011 Elite Eight win over No. 1 Kansas. The Rams advanced to the Final Four; Veal didn’t return the next season.
At Paine, he was scheduled to become eligible after fall exams – after the third game. He would’ve seen time at power forward and center. Instead, Link said he’s fine with his other frontcourt players, including returning center Allen Young (6-8, 210) and newcomers Jerel Stephenson (6-5, 220) and Arnis Libazs (6-8, 235).
“I don’t know if it’s a big loss or not,” Link said of Veal. “We have other bigs. If he ever played, it would’ve been a plus.”
Link said he doesn’t know about Veal’s plans. He said playing professional basketball overseas might be an option.