RCS Sidelines

May 7, 2010 10:00 AM

Danny Almonte Part II?

Possible prep imposter.jpgYou remember Danny Almonte. He was the little league pitcher from the Bronx who was unstoppable. At 5'8 he towered over other little leaguers and he brought the heat. He even pitched a no-hitter in the 2001 Mid-Atlantic Regional finals. But the reason he was so dominant was he was at least two years older than the rest of the competition and thus shouldn't have been allowed to play.

While not making quite the headlines as Almonte, USA Today's Jim Halley brings a story of a basketball player possibly trying to play high school basketball three years past his senior season.

Jerry Joseph is either a promising 16-year-old sophomore basketball player at Permian (Odessa, Texas) or he's Guerdwich Montimere (pictured on the far right playing in a game in 2006), a 22-year-old who three years ago as a senior helped lead Dillard (Fort Lauderdale) to the Florida 5A state semifinals and was a McDonald's All American nominee.

Sounds like a Will Ferrell movie. Ferrell a little too old, huh? How about Michael Cera then? A little too unathletic. Let's just go with Donald Glover (the guy from Community).

Officials at Permian are looking into the matter, but Montimere's former AAU coach, Louis Vives, doesn't need an investigation to know that Joseph is not just a Montimere look-alike. "The moment I saw him, I knew it was Montimere," he said.

Vives, a coach with the South Florida Elite, was in Little Rock last month for a tournament. He said two of his players from Dillard first spotted the 6-5 guard they knew as Montimere playing for the New Mexico Force. Vives said the player denied he was Montimere when Vives spoke with him.

"It was shocking, and the question at hand was just why," Vives said Wednesday. "When I approached him, I just wanted to know what was going on. The surprised look on his face gave it away that it was him. ... Once he saw a Florida team and players and coaches who knew him, the look on his face was like, 'Wow, what am I into now?' "

The question is why? I think that's an easy question to answer. Who hasn't thought about going back to high school to do things over again. So many missed opportunities whether it be academically, athletically, or socially. But the story might not be true. Someone with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they determined that Joseph's fingerprints don't match Montimere's.

Maybe Joseph just looks exactly like Montimere. Who knows. But I do know that if it is him, Hollywood will be optioning his life story soon enough.

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