Cops: 17-Year-Old Basketball Star Is a Bit Older Than 17

Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley, 25, accused of saying he was homeless to enroll in high school
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2018 8:44 AM CDT
Cops: 17-Year-Old Basketball Star Is a Bit Older Than 17
Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley.   (Dallas County Jail, via Star-Telegram)

A "savvy" 25-year-old gamed the Dallas school system and posed as a high school student, all apparently so he could play some basketball, officials say. The Dallas Morning News reports Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley was arrested Friday after authorities say he pretended to be 17-year-old "Rashaun Richardson" and enrolled at two high schools—first Skyline in August, then Hillcrest in October, where he joined that school's basketball team and was voted District 11-5A's offensive player of the year. The Dallas ISD superintendent says the "perfect storm" that led to this involved an actual storm: Gilstrap-Portley reportedly said he'd been left homeless by Hurricane Harvey and came to Dallas alone. More:

  • 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 may have scammed his way in with just immunization and physical records, a district rep says.

  • His true identity was discovered when his ex-basketball coach at another area high school spotted him playing a high school tournament and recognized him from many years earlier.
  • The mother of a 14-year-old girl at Hillcrest who says Gilstrap-Portley dated her daughter during his time there is angry. "I don't know … how [the school] let this slip through the cracks," she tells the Morning News. "It's unbelievable." She notes her daughter—who says she didn't have a sexual relationship with Gilstrap-Portley—had thought "Rashaun" was a 17-year-old freshman, a fact that still made the mother uncomfortable.
  • Fox 4 reports police are investigating claims the girl allegedly made to her mother that she had been touched "inappropriately" by Gilstrap-Portley.
  • Gilstrap-Portley, who is now out on bond and facing charges of tampering with government records, is also reported to have a young child.
  • At the Morning News, Robert Wilonsky writes that his 14-year-old son attended Hillcrest with "Rashaun," and that he and his friends "didn't think twice about the fact he sometimes cradled a baby girl on the sidelines of ball games, because, you know, it happens." When his son learned the truth, he observed that when Gilstrap-Portley graduated from North Mesquite in 2011, "I was 7."
(More high school basketball stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.