Man Arrested After Pretending To Be In High School For Nine Months So He Could Play Basketball

Gabrielle Okun | Reporter

A man was arrested after he posed as a high school student for nine months so he could play basketball, according to The Dallas Morning News Tuesday.

Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley, 25, was arrested Friday after attending two high schools, pretending he was a 17-year-old homeless Hurricane Harvey refugee under the fake name Rashun Richardson. The mock high school student joined the basketball team and started dating a 14-year-old student, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Gilstrap-Portley started his school year at Skyline High School in 2017, claiming he was a Hurricane Harvey victim. He later switched to Hillcrest High School in October, telling school officials he was a Hurricane Harvey refugee and homeless. Gilstrap-Portley succeeded in the plan due to federal law allowing homeless or evacuee students from not submitting additional documentation while enrolling in a high school, Dallas Independent School District (ISD) told WFAA.

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

Gilstrap-Portley joined Hillcrest High School’s basketball team and soon became a star player for the school. However, his savvy plan broke after Phillip Randall, his former coach when he was an actual high school student at North Mesquite High School, noticed him playing at a basketball tournament.

“He was a good kid,” Randall said. “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.”

Gilstrap-Portley stopped showing up to class after April 25. The man also has a young child and told a detective he wanted to relive his basketball days. (RELATED: This High School Should Be Classified As A National Embarrassment For This Basketball Game Apology)

He is charged with tampering with government records, first booked at the Dallas County Jail. However, he was later released. He does not have any other records of criminal history.

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