Background checks, academic reviews, conversations with family/friends/coaches and obviously, on-court evaluations are all a part of the formal recruiting process for college coaches seeking information about prospects.

They might want to add identity verification to that list.

Jerry Joseph, a 16-year-old who earned district newcomer of the year honors for Permian High School (think "Friday Night Lights") in Odessa, Texas, averaged more than 20 points in the final nine games of the 2009-10 season.

But Florida AAU coaches who spotted Joseph at a recent tournament didn't think he was who he said he was, kicking off an intense investigation about the "boy's" identity.

Turns out, Joseph is, as suspected, really 22-year-old Guerdwich Montimere, a former star player for Dillard High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who graduated in 2007. Joseph admitted the fraud when questioned by authorities Tuesday.

The crazy thing is that this "Danny Almonte" act has happened three times in the last year.

Anthony Avalos was a "high school senior" at Yuma Union in Yuma, Ariz., before authorities discovered that he was really a 22-year-old who enrolled because he wanted to play basketball. Ever heard of a rec league? 

Syracuse, Kentucky and Georgetown were reportedly monitoring the progress of Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.) forward Steele Davis, uh, Neville Davis, until everyone realized that he was a twentysomething prospect who'd hit the AAU scene in 2005.

School officials say Joseph enrolled in a local junior high last year. He said he was an orphan living with a friend. When the friend left town, he moved in with his high school coach and well ...


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