Jerry Joseph was simply living the American dream—lying about his age so that he could go back to high school and relive his glory days as the big man on campus. Didn't Bob Dylan sing about this?
Be honest—we've all had that dream of returning to our old high school so that we might use the wisdom and acne-free skin of our early 20s (or 30s) to dominate athletic teams and order around the cheerleaders who used to ignore us. We never act on that, of course, because that would be ... wrong? I guess? (Yes. Definitely wrong.) Joseph didn't see it that way, however. He enrolled at Nimitz Junior High school in Texas last year, claiming to be a 15-year-old orphan from Haiti. Last fall, he moved up to Permian High School—yes, that's Buzz's old stomping ground—where he played on the varsity team as a high school sophomore.
However, officials discovered this week that Joseph is actually Guerdwich Montimere, a 22-year-old nationalized citizen who graduated from a Fort Lauderdale high school in 2007.
Montimere led his old high school hoops team to the state semifinal before giving college ball a brief shot (at Highland Community College in Illinois.) When that didn't pan out, he dropped out of college and life ... until emerging in Odessa under a new name. He claimed to be parent-less and living with a half-brother—who was actually an old high school teammate. When the "brother" moved away, Permian head coach Danny Wright became his legal guardian, moving Montimere into his home. Because he was an immigrant, no one questioned his lack of school records or foreign birth certificate. It was the perfect plan.
Or it was until Montimere's old AAU coaches from Florida noticed "Jerry Joesph" playing at a tournament in Arkansas and realized it was the same kid. They tipped off authorities in Texas, but even federal immigration investigators concluded that Joseph and Montimere were two different people. However, even though "Joseph" didn't really exist he was in danger of being deported, so when confronted with his deception, Montimere confessed. Now everyone in the district is left scratching their heads.
I'm just not sure who to feel worse for—the duped community or the guy who can't let go. Playing high school basketball was the one thing Montimere did better than anything else, so why shouldn't he be allowed to do that forever? How can you be expected to get a real job when prom was the greatest night of your life? Why can't we hold on to our youth forever?
Oh, right. It's creepy and against the law. Always forget that part.
Permian player is impostor [Odessa American]
Texas high school player Jerry Joseph is really 22-year old Dillard grad [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]