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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)

(Newser) – 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.

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  • 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."
(Read more high school basketball stories.)

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