LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – The two basketball players suing New Mexico State University in the hazing and sexual assault scandal spoke out for the first time. The two players, who are both leaving the school, talked about how the experience has left them crushed. 

“Growing up, I’ve always wanted to be an Aggie. My dream turned into a nightmare real quick, and I never expected this to happen my freshman year,” said Deuce Benjamin, former Aggie basketball player. 

Emotions ran high during a press conference as Las Cruces native Deuce Benjamin and redshirt freshman Shak Odunewu spoke publicly for the first time. The two players have filed a lawsuit against NMSU over hazing they said escalated into a sexual assault at the hands of three teammates. Benjamin got emotional and teared up as he talked about the incident. 

“There’s a part of me that hasn’t been the same now, and I want people to know that. I’ve changed,” said Benjamin.  

Benjamin, whose dad was a star at state in the ’90s, said this ordeal has hurt his dreams of becoming a Division One player but doesn’t want to give up. 

“Being able to go through this pain isn’t easy as you can see, but all you can do is weather the storm. All you can do is weather the storm and stay positive throughout this whole process,” stated Benjamin. 

Shak Odunewu said as young players their only concerns should have been basketball, not their safety. He said he was scared to come forward because he didn’t want to destroy other people’s careers. 

“You know, it just got to a point where I just couldn’t bear it anymore, and it’s just sad that my college experience had to go like this,” said Shak Odunewu, former Aggie basketball player. 

Besides dealing with his own pain, Odunewu said his heart goes out to Benjamin. 

“I really feel bad for Deuce because, you know, this is his hometown, he was born and raised here. That’s not something you expect, you know, his dad is an Aggie legend and then he comes over here and has to deal with nonsense,” said Odunewu. 

 He said he doesn’t want this incident to define their future. 

“I hope that me and Deuce will have the strength to move past this, and, you know, become dominant in the next path we choose,” stated Odunewu. 

The three players accused of the crimes, Kim Aiken, Doctor Bradley, and Deshawndre Washington, were allowed to finish the semester. However, they’re no longer a part of the basketball program. The Attorney General’s office will decide if they’ll be charged with any crimes.