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Former College Basketball Player Poses As Refugee To Play High School Basketball, Police Say

By  Ryan Saavedra

Texas law enforcement officials arrested a 25-year-old man last week who allegedly posed as a 17-year-old hurricane refugee so he could play high school basketball and wound up dating a 14-year-old girl.

The Dallas Morning News reports:

Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley began the school year at Skyline High School, where he enrolled claiming to be a Hurricane Harvey refugee. Months later, he moved to Hillcrest High School and joined the basketball team, Dallas ISD officials said. As a student there, Gilstrap-Portley dated a 14-year-old classmate, the girl’s mother said.

“He took that as an opportunity to gain access to our schools,” Dallas ISD spokeswoman Robyn Harris said. “He was fairly savvy to be able to utilize that type of position, knowing that we were accepting Harvey students.”

The Dallas News notes that Gilstrap-Portley appears to have played college basketball at Dallas Christian College and his act came to an end when one of his former high school coaches recognized him while he was playing at a tournament in April.

Phillip Randal, one of Gilstrap-Portley’s coaches at North Mesquite High School, said that while he was not the coach that turned him in, he was stunned by his actions.

“He was a good kid,” Randall stated. “I never had any problems out of him. That’s why I was shocked when I heard that all this came out because that’s not the kid that I knew.”

The mother of the 14-year-old that he supposedly dated said she had no idea of his age. The woman says that a detective contacted her earlier this week and informed her that he was living a double-life, which they suspect he did because he had a young child and was looking to restart his athletic career, hoping it would lead to something.

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