For fans of Hillcrest High's varsity basketball team, their new star player must appear like a gift from above. As it was, Rashun Sidney Richardson had taken an unusual path to become the top scorer of the Panthers, considering he was hurried to Hurricane Harvey in October as a 17-year-old freshman However, the newcomer proved to be a lot stranger – and more disturbing – than this one. According to the police who arrested him on Friday on charges of manipulating government records, the talented teenager was actually a 25-year-old man named Sidney Gilstrap-Portley
Making things even more disturbing for Gilstrap-Portle's classmates and theirs He is said to have run out of parents with a 1
Gilstrap-Portley's plan worked because he presented himself not only as a victim of the hurricane, but also as homeless with an absent mother. That helped him avoid some of the paperwork and background checks that could have stopped him before he began to roam the halls with real teenagers.
"To take advantage of the Harvey situation and then the homeless laws It's frustrating for our students," said Dallas Independent School District Superintendent. Michael Hinojosa to NBC DFW.
The plan began to break in April, when a coach at North Mesquite High School was about half an hour's drive away from Hillcrest, saw Gilstrap-Portley play at a tournament, and recognized his former athlete. Gilstrap-Portley graduated from this school in 2011, and there is evidence online that he played for Dallas Christian College during the 2013/14 season.
"He was a good kid," another Gilstrap-Portley coach in North Mesquite told The Morning News. "I never had any problems with him, so I was shocked to hear it all came out, because that's not the kid I knew."
This coach described Gilstrap-Portley to NBC DFW as an "average" Player ", but perhaps not surprisingly, he thrived among competitors as much as 10 years younger than him. The 6-2 security guard was voted by District 11-5A coach as their offensive player of the year.
"He was a good player, but did not stop when he was completely above everyone else "Hillcrest CEO Chris Bayer said. "Apart from being a very quiet, restrained young man, polite."
"Looking back now," Bayer added, "it makes sense that he might try not to get noticed or attract attention"
Before Gilstrap-Portley arrives in time for Hillcrest's basketball season He initially posed as "Rashun Richardson" in Dallas & # 39; Skyline High, which had opened its doors to the victims of Harvey. The devastation of the hurricane last August included much of the Houston area, and Gilstrap-Portley claimed to have been expelled by him along with a few relatives.
At Hillcrest Basketball Games, Gilstrap-Portley was occasionally seen as a little girl in the company by a young woman, but it was believed that she was a sister and niece of his. It is now assumed that she was his girlfriend and the mother of his child.
Mother of 14-year-old classmate Gilstrap-Portley told Morning News that her daughter had said she had no sexual relationship with him. The mother said she never approved of someone she believed was with her daughter and she addressed her concerns directly to him. While saying that he was "respectful" to her, he said he saw "no problem" with the relationship
"I am upset, frustrated, angry and sad at the same time," said the mother. "If it happens in Hillcrest, it could happen somewhere else – people need to know – it could have been different if it had other intentions to hurt or harass them."
Hinojosa turned to a narrative that said Gilstrap-Portley's arrest in which he was portrayed as an opportunist shot on basketball fame. "Nobody should see it that way," the Superintendent told the Morning News. "This is an adult infiltrating high school.
" People should take this seriously. Nobody should play it that way. This is much  more than that. "
Gilstrap-Portley was posted to the Dallas County Jail and is said to have been released on Monday for $ 1,500.
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