DALLAS (Gray News) - At age 17, Rashaun Richardson became a breakout freshman during Texas’ 2017-18 high school basketball season.
Although Hillcrest High School finished just 11-10, he led the Panthers in scoring and District 11-5A coaches voted him the offensive player of the year.
Yet, if you look up stats and records for that season, you won’t see Richardson’s name. In fact, you won’t find him in the school’s yearbook, either.
That’s because Richardson was a figment of Sidney Gilstrap-Portley’s imagination, a mere character conjured up to allow the then-25-year-old to relive his glory days on the basketball court, the Dallas Morning News reported.
He also began an illegal relationship with a 14-year-old girl in his class. Investigators said the girl told them that Gilstrap-Portley kissed her, touched her breasts over her clothes and asked to have sex.
Gilstrap-Portley had actually graduated from North Mesquite High School in 2011, which is also in the Dallas area. In an interview with Reallyfe Productions to promote the aspiring rapper’s mixtape, Gilstrap-Portley said the coaches kicked him off the team for cursing at parents, causing a commotion, drinking before games – overall, just being a nuisance.
He wanted a second shot at high school ball. So, when Hurricane Harvey hit, he pounced on the opportunity.
Gilstrap-Portley enrolled at Skyline High School in Dallas under the guise of a homeless Harvey evacuee. A few months later, he moved on to Hillcrest High where he joined the basketball team.
It was a smaller school and eliminated some of the competition for playing time.
He fully committed to the masquerade, even attending classes and doing enough schoolwork to keep out of trouble.
"I was probably going to hoop this whole season, get some film and go overseas this summer," Gilstrap-Portley told Reallyfe Productions.
He very well may have pulled it off if not for the astute eye of one of his former coaches at Mesquite High.
“One of my former players who graduated a time ago is playing for you," the Mesquite coach told the Hillcrest coach.
Police arrested him shortly before midnight on May 11, 2018, and charged him with indecency with a child and three counts of tampering with a government record, Sports Illustrated reported.
The indecency charge was a third-degree felony, meaning he could have spent up to a decade in prison.
Even so, he won’t spend any more time behind bars than he’s already spent. As part of his plea agreement, Judge Stephanie Huff sentenced him Tuesday to six years of probation.
He must also register as a sex offender for 10 years after his probation and cease all communication with the teenage girl.
“You are not to be in her physical presence. You are not to call, write, text, send an Instagram request or tweet, a message in a bottle, a carrier pigeon, or a telepathic thought,” Huff told him. “You are to have no contact with her whatsoever.”