A high school in Odessa, Texas is stunned after police officials announced that their star basketball player was not who he said he was.
According to reports, 16-year-old Jerry Joseph a point guard for Permian High School is in fact 22-year-old Haitian immigrant Guerdwich Montimere, a high school graduate from Florida.
Montimere told locals that he was an orphan who was living with his brother in a college dorm, after being a victim of the devastating Haitian earthquake; was actually a former high school superstar who graduated from a high school in Florida.
The discovery came from Montimere’s former coach who first spotted the player at an event last month, told the Fort Lauderdale-based South Florida Sun Sentinel he was not surprised by the findings.
“I was hoping I was wrong because he was one of our kids,” Vives told the paper. “He grew up in our system. He played with us and you don’t want any of your kids to go in the wrong direction in any way. That’s why I’m sad. But what’s right is right. He can’t go around impersonating a 16-year old kid. He can’t go living his youth all over again.”
After the former coach made the revelation, Permian High School received an anonymous email also revealing the true identity of the star player. A fact that was hard for many to believe, especially after the man enrolled in a junior high early last year.
After denying allegations for more than two weeks, the player finally confessed to police that he truly was 22-years-old and told authorities he “just wanted to play basketball.”
Hip-Hopwired.com spoke to a coach who also had Montimere as a player on his team, in regards to how a 22-year-old could fool so many. The coach who wishes to remain anonymous states that Montimere had the same agenda as many phenoms his age and that he was “focused on trying to keep his grades up to go on and play in college.”
“Honestly, he seemed like a 16-year-old kid,” the coach said.” He was very well mannered and had a real hunger for the sport; he always bragged about his GPA and even stated that he wanted to play at the college level. I would have never thought in a million years that he was 22-years-old.”
This story hits home for me personally, having actually met the young man and spoke with him in-depth at my home and he never really gave the impression that he was older than 16. As a writer, I am just as shocked as the rest of the country in the revelation about the young man’s true age.
Although the situation is shocking, I can say that I am relieved that it was merely about playing sports. As a grown man, I am glad that there has been no issue regarding any inappropriate behavior towards any of the female students.
This case is truly bizarre, but hardly the first of it’s kind. In November of 2009, Anthony Avalos attended and played basketball at Kofa High School in Yuma, Ariz., before he was caught. Avalos, also 22, graduated from a Florida high school in 2005.
Then there was the case of Neville Davis. Playing as Steele Davis, he was the eternal sophomore, starring at several schools along the East Coast starting in 2005. He wasn’t caught until April of 2009.