A University of Montana basketball player was booked into the Missoula County jail Thursday morning on a felony strangulation charge and suspended from all university athletic-related activities, per the student-athlete code of conduct.
Naseem Ikena Gaskin, 20, is also held on a misdemeanor partner or family member assault charge. His initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court on Thursday was postponed, court staff said.
Missoula Police Sgt. Travis Welsh said Thursday officers were called at approximately 10:50 p.m. to the 300 block of East Front Street. A woman there reported Gaskin had strangled her and then pushed her off a bed, injuring her. The woman left the residence before contacting the police, and checked into a local motel, Welsh said. Gaskin was arrested based on the woman's statement and evidence officers gathered, Welsh said. Emergency services responded to the call but the woman declined transportation to the hospital, Welsh said.
The University of Montana on Thursday issued the following statement:
“The University and athletic department are aware of the incident involving student-athlete Naseem Gaskin. We understand the seriousness of the allegations and absolutely do not condone such behavior. Per the student-athlete code of conduct he has been immediately suspended from all athletic-related activities. The University has also issued an interim suspension effective immediately.”
A 6-foot-3 guard, Gaskin was a University of Utah transfer who never played for the Utes as he redshirted that season. Due to the NCAA transfer rules he was also forced to redshirt last season with UM. He was expected to compete for playing time this year.
Charging documents had not been filed in Missoula County Justice Court Thursday afternoon.