Jim Farmer is the former first-round NBA draft pick and aspiring country singer who was accused of soliciting sex from a minor in Tennessee.
Farmer played college ball at the University of Alabama where he led the team to three successive Sweet Sixteen appearances. In his senior season, Farmer averaged 16 points per game. Farmer scored over 1,100 points in total for Alabama.
In 1987, Farmer was drafted in the first round, 20th pick overall, by the Dallas Mavericks. Farmer joined the Utah Jazz in 1989, the Seattle Supersonics and Philadelphia 76ers in 1990, and the Denver Nuggets in 1991. In his final season in the NBA, Farmer had his most successful run, playing 25 games and averaging 10 points per game.
Following his retirement, Farmer embarked on a country music career and was forced into a successful battle with colon cancer. Farmer married in 2006 and has two children.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tennessee Investigators Posted Ads Promising Sex With Minors on Websites Linked to Commercial Sex
On October 28, Farmer, 55, was named by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation one of the 16 people arrested in the town of Smyrna in relation to a child-sex solicitation sting.
The TBI said in a press release that investigators placed false ads on websites linked to commercial sex. Authorities say that the 16 men arrested responded to those ads. Farmer, a resident of Franklin, Tennessee, was booked into Rutherford County Jail.
2. In High School, Farmer Averaged 35 Points Per Game
Farmer is a native of Dothan, Alabama, where attended high school at Houston Academy in the town. Farmer graduated from the school in 1983. The Dothan Eagle reports that Farmer was averaged 35 points per game in his senior season. In 1981 and 1982, Farmer was named first-team All-State. The Eagle report says that Farmer is a member of the Houston Academy Sports Hall of Fame and the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame.
Farmer, a small forward, went on to play for the University of Alabama between 1983 and 1987. Farmer was a standout on the school’s 1987 SEC Championship team.
In 1997, Farmer was part of the USA team that won gold at the 1997 FIBA Americas Championship in Uruguay. Following his NBA career, Farmer spent three years playing on Magic Johnson’s touring dream team. Farmer was appointed as the head coach of the Birmingham Magicians, a professional basketball team out of Birmingham, Alabama, in October 2005.
3. Farmer Said That He Was Offered Modeling Deals With Coca-Cola & Nike
According to his official website, Farmer was an aspiring country singer. Farmer’s bio quotes the lead singer of country act Sawyer Brown, Mark Miller, as saying, “I’m a longtime fan of Jim’s basketball playing. Now that I’ve heard his CD, put me down as a fan of his music as well!”
Farmer says on his bio that while he was living in Los Angeles during the final years of his basketball career, he was approached with modeling offers from Nike, Coca-Cola, Twix and Sony. Farmer writes that his love of country music brought him to Tennessee. Farmer describes his sound as being “country… very pop as well.” Farmer said that it was Garth Brooks’ crossover success that inspired him to begin recording his own music.
4. Farmer Said the Toughest Thing to Do While Recovering From Cancer Surgery Was Keeping Still
In 2002, Farmer was diagnosed with colon cancer. An update on his website says that he underwent surgery to have a tumor removed. As a precaution, Farmer underwent radiation therapy. The update reads, “The toughest job was keeping Jim still while his stitches were in place. This downtime has proven to be a good opportunity to sing and write.” The update adds that Farmer was eager to get back on the road to promote his burgeoning country music career.
Farmer said in a 2007 blog post that his diagnosis came after he underwent a physical prior to going out on a musical tour. After discovering he was anemic, Farmer underwent further tests which showed a two-inch tumor on his colon, which was subsequently removed. Farmer writes that he “felt like maybe God was using me to make young, healthy people aware that you don’t have to be some 50-year-old, fat, old woman or man to get diagnosed.” Farmer wrote that at the time his body fat was extremely low and he was modeling and performing.
Farmer concluded the blog post by writing, “Starting from way back, I just used that to prove people wrong. I would say, “Don’t tell me not to do something because then I will turn around and do it.” I look at this the same way, it’s another thing I’ve got to whip in life, and that’s how I’ve always lived my life.”
5. Farmer Is Married to a Former Miss Teen Maryland
Farmer married his wife, Swiss native Angelisa Proserpi Farmer in 2006, according to his wife’s Facebook page. Farmer’s wife owns a beauty salon in Franklin, Tennessee. Proserpi graduated from the Chesapeake School of Make Artistry in 2000. The couple’s wedding was held at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville in July 2006. The couple has two sons together.
On her Facebook page, Proserpi regularly posts Christian memes. In 1993, Proserpi, then 17, was the winner of Miss Teen Maryland. A profile on Proserpi in the Baltimore Sun described Proserpi as an honor student who active in student theater and Students Against Drunk Driving. Proserpi’s hobbies included singing, songwriting, and swimming.