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Paul A. Harris Jr. -- the Niagara Falls High School basketball star charged with assaulting his girlfriend last month -- told a judge Tuesday that he has been attending the anger management program he volunteered for earlier this month.

Harris, a junior, was arrested Sept. 23 after a fight at his Michigan Avenue home where his 23-year-old girlfriend told officers he became angry and began pushing, punching and throwing items, police said.

Harris, who has turned 18 since the incident, was charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor punishable upon conviction of up to a year in jail, and a less-serious harassment charge.

The purpose of the court appearance was for City Judge Anthony M. Restaino to check the status of Harris' involvement in the 15-week program for 13- to 18-year-olds who show signs of violence in school, home or the community.

Harris is attending school and has not behaved in a violent manner, Susan Howard, Niagara County assistant district attorney, told the judge.

School officials say they will not decide whether Harris can play basketball this season until they have a trial verdict, but the trial is scheduled for Jan. 28, 7 1/2 weeks after the Dec. 7 start of the Niagara Falls High School basketball season.

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