National Basketball Association star Kobe Bryant has belatedly joined his Los Angeles Lakers teammates at training camp in Hawaii, hoping that playing basketball will help him handle his highly publicized felony sexual assault charge.
Bryant missed the first two days of training, saying he was sick. There had been speculation that he would not join his team until it returned to California next week, but Kobe arrived Saturday morning and took part in workouts.
The 25-year-old Bryant is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman June 30 at a Colorado resort hotel where she worked and he was a guest. Bryant maintains he had consensual sex with the woman.
While the Lakers' star tries to get his mind back on the basketball court, he is scheduled to be back in a court of law next Thursday to appear at his preliminary hearing. Eagle County Judge Fredrick Gannett has already ruled that Bryant's accuser will not have to testify. Gannett also ruled that the hearing, where he will decide whether the prosecution has enough evidence to send the case to trial, will be open to the public. Bryant and his lawyers can still waive the preliminary hearing and go directly to trial.