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

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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, according to officials.

The Dallas Morning News reports Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley was arrested Friday after authorities said he pretended to be 17-year-old 'Rashun Richardson' and enrolled at two high schools — first Skyline in August then Hillcrest in October, where he joined the school's basketball team and was voted District 11-5A's offensive player of the year.

The Dallas ISD superintendent said the "perfect storm" that led to this involved an actual storm: Gilstrap-Portley reportedly said he'd been left homeless by Hurricane Harvey and went to Dallas alone.

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 said.

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 said 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 said 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.

Gilstrap-Portley, who is now out on bond and facing charges of tampering with government records, is also reported to have a young child.

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