'17-year-old' basketball star is actually much older, police say

Basketball court

25-year-old posed as teen to play high school basketball: officials

A 25-year-old man lived a double life as a teenager for nine months - even dating a 14-year-old - just so he could play high school basketball again, school officials said.

Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley, a 25-year-old man who graduated from North Mesquite High School in Texas, was recently arrested and booked into Dallas County Jail after police realized he had enrolled at Hillcrest High School in North Dallas as a 17-year-old.

"It was nearly impossible for this to happen, had it not been for Hurricane Harvey", says Dallas IDS Superintendent, Dr. Michael Hinojosa.

The district tells WFAA students who've been through a natural disaster or are homeless aren't asked for the same documentation that's typically required, per federal law.

Gilstrap-Portley's deception was finally revealed when one of his former coaches from North Mesquite High School recognized him during a tournament in April.

The mother of a 14-year-old girl at Hillcrest who says Gilstrap-Portley dated her daughter during his time there is angry. As it was, Rashun Sidney Richardson had traveled an unusual path, to say the least, to become the Panthers' leading scorer, considering that he transferred there in October as a 17-year-old freshman who was a Hurricane Harvey refugee.

He's charged with a felony of tampering with government records. He says the district will work to prevent a similar situation in the future.

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Still, Hinojosa empathizes with parents' concerns: "You send your kid to be safe at school and to participate in extracurricular activities and this should not happen".

"After the initial shock wore off, my heart hurt - and the staff's hearts", said principal Chris Bayer.

The district said it's reviewing homeless student policies. Dallas ISD officials think that the motive behind this was to play basketball, Harris said. Bayer said Gilstrap-Portley's attendance had declined, and they had a meeting last month about it.

Students said Gilstrap-Portley's basketball skills made him popular.

Dallas ISD Police are looking into allegations that Gilstrap-Portley may have had a romantic relationship with a student.

"This is a unique situation that shows us areas we need to take another look at when we open our doors to students in these situations".

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