It’s hard to say which is more shocking, that a 25-year-old man passed for a 17-year-old high school student or that it took the school nine months to get hip to the ruse.
Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley, 25, reportedly enrolled as a student in the Dallas Independent School District to relive his glory as a basketball player, according to the Dallas Morning News.
DISD says 25-year-old Sidney Gilstrap-Portley passed himself off as a freshman, attending Hillcrest High for the last year and playing basketball. Investigators say he claimed to be homeless after fleeing Huricane Harvey, using the fake name “Rashun Richardson”. (@NBCDFW) pic.twitter.com/rAU6uJGTcH
— Jack Highberger (@JackHighberger) May 15, 2018
Gilstrap-Portley, claiming to be a Hurricane Harvey refugee, enrolled at Skyline High School at the start of the year, before moving to Hillcrest High School and joined the basketball team, the newspaper reported.
Even more troubling, he began dating a 14-year-old classmate, the girl’s mother told the Morning News.
“It’s unbelievable to me that he could get away with this,” the mother said. “I don’t know what, how [the school] let this slip through the cracks.”
The young girl said she did not have a sexual relationship with Gilstrap-Portley.
The ruse continued for nine months, before Gilstrap-Portley, who has no previous criminal history, was arrested last week on a charge of tampering with government records.
Dallas ISD spokeswoman Robyn Harris said that he enrolled under the name Rashun Richardson when the district was taking in hurricane evacuees and that his primary motivation appears to be to play basketball.
“He took that as an opportunity to gain access to our schools,” Harris said. “He was fairly savvy to be able to utilize that type of position, knowing that we were accepting Harvey students.”
The Morning News noted that Gilstrap-Portley appears to have played basketball at Dallas Christian College. He was a star on the Hillcrest team, which posted a record of 11 wins and 10 losses, being voted District 11-5A offensive player of the year.
Gilstrap-Portley was busted when a coach from his old high school saw him playing in a high school tournament in April. The coach recognized him as one of his former players who graduated from North Mesquite High School seven years ago.
The reaction on social media proved that sometimes laughter is all you can do when encountering such a bizarre story — fortunately, it appears no one was harmed.
Here’s a sampling of some of the responses seen on Twitter:
— Nai (@ilunga_) May 16, 2018
— Griffdapoet (@griffdapoet) May 16, 2018
— Christian Wilson (@_trillson) May 17, 2018
Him vs high schoolers pic.twitter.com/YUWcS7h4wK
— Quinton Chapman???♊ (@quinton_chapman) May 16, 2018
— Preston Ross (@PrestonRoss7) May 16, 2018
My man was in his physical prime & really felt satisfaction from getting buckets on 17 year olds. 😂 https://t.co/Td1ZM1q1iz
— Bench Day Dre (@BenchDayDre) May 17, 2018
😂😂😂 he did what we all say everytime you go back to watch your high school play
Me: Man if I could go back knowing what I knw now…Id average 25 a game!
Sidney Gilstrap-Portley: Hold my beer https://t.co/6pRWiySCfX
— Taylor Mack (@taylormack29) May 16, 2018
Several disturbing things here…firstly he had a brief relationship with a 14 year old….also….the coach considered him an average basketball player https://t.co/6DeqaNXtz9
— I am HIM- Phd(c) (@Keepin_It_Bril) May 16, 2018
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