Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James reacted to the news Thursday about Illinois basketball guard Terrence Shannon Jr. and how he was found not guilty of rape and aggravated sexual assault. The trial took place in Kansas where it lasted about a week as Shannon was arrested in December for charges that allegedly happened in September, but fast forward to the present time and the 23-year old has been acquitted.

Besides fans of the Illinois basketball program and the player himself, James was the latest to share his support of Shannon after the news broke that he was not guilty. The 38-year old on the Lakers would post on X (formerly known as Twitter) and said that the “apologies should be 30X louder than the hate.”

“To my Young [King emoji], Terrance Shannon Jr! Love and Salute you! Proud of you!! God is Good!” James said. “The apologies should be 30X louder than the hate he got but we know how it goes. Anyways back to the regular scheduled program. Great days ahead!”

After the senior was arrested by the police in December, the Illinois basketball program suspended him and even did their own investigation. However, Shannon would return to the court after missing six games “before he retained a temporary restraining order” according to ESPN. He would even be a part of the team that played in the national tournament and lost to the champions UConn in the Elite Eight as the school decided to drop the case saying there was not enough evidence.

Shannon plead his innocence in letter to Illinois back in January

Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) reacts against the Connecticut Huskies in the finals of the East Regional of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at TD Garden.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

In terms of the trial, Shannon turned himself in on Dec. 28 where he was then released on a $50,000 bail according to Kyle Boone of CBS Sports. Several days later on Jan. 2, Shannon would send a more than 1,300 word letter to the University of Illinois' student-athlete conduct panel where he talked about himself being innocent.

“As to the criminal charges against me, I am declaring my innocence, as I did back in September,” a part of the letter wrote by Shannon to the university.. “I have totally cooperated with that process and will continue to do so. While I appreciate my lawyers and their ability to fight the case in court, I know that the criminal justice system takes time. So my day in court will not come about for a long time, most likely long after the NBA Draft, and I may not be cleared of the charges until it's too late.

“The harm that I will suffer from an immediate suspension can never be undone, and I will never have this opportunity to further my collegiate career or fulfill my lifelong dream to play in the NBA,” Shannon continued. “Going forward, I want nothing more than to play basketball for the University of Illinois, and I remain hopeful that my due process rights will be honored and allow for a full reinstatement while this case is pending.”

Shannon's attorney “happy with the outcome”

An attorney for Shannon in Mark Sutter spoke after the trial and was obviously elated with the result since their side has been denying “the allegations back in September.” Plus, he would say that the “public at-large owes Shannon Jr. an apology” per Myron Medcalf of ESPN.

“We're happy with the outcome,” Sutter said. “Terrence Shannon Jr. finally got his day in court. We denied the allegations back in September and on that date, we pledged that one day soon, we would have our day in court and we did. And we're happy with the outcome. And, at the end of the day, I think the public at-large owes Shannon Jr. an apology.”

“He's a good kid and we had a lot of really good character witnesses in addition to the investigation and the challenge of all the evidence, or lack thereof,” Sutter continued. “It was a nice turnout for him.”

Shannon gets more support besides Lakers star

Someone else besides James and his attorney that showed support for Shannon was his basketball head coach in Brad Underwood who was “thrilled” to hear the news Thursday. This past season, Shannon would average 23 points. 4.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field.

“I am thrilled for Terrence with the news of today's verdict,” Underwood said. “Under six months of intense scrutiny, Terrence has shown tremendous composure, maturity, and focus. He can now put this behind him and move forward with his life. I, along with everyone in our Illinois Basketball program, will continue to offer Terrence our full support as he looks to fulfill his NBA dreams.”

Shannon to now focus on NBA journey, maybe with Lakers

Another figure within the Illinois basketball program to release a statement about the trail verdict was Illini Athletic Director Josh Whitman. He would mention how it was a “tremendous sigh of relief” and even mentioned that he wishes the player well on his future “NBA journey.”

“This has been a very serious and unfortunate situation for all parties involved, and I am happy for Terrence that it has been resolved and his name has been cleared,” Whitman said. “We look forward to cheering for him as he begins his NBA journey.”

When talking about the just mentioned future Shannon has in the professional league, he is projected to be a first-round pick in this month's NBA draft. With the weight of the trial off of him, he can shift focus as per ESPN, he will begin to attend workouts for multiple teams interested starting as early as Friday. Out of all the teams, there could be a situation where Los Angeles is one of them.

With focus ahead on the draft, one has to wonder if LeBron James posting his support of Shannon could also be a sign of approval in the Lakers drafting him. The Lakers have the No. 17 pick in the first round and the 55th pick in the second which some very much so believe that will be the spot where they draft his son, Bronny James. The NBA Draft will take place on Wednesday, June 26 and continue on Thursday, June 27.