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Should Sudanese student atheletes play?

A controversy at a west suburban high school went from the basketball court into the courtroom — at issue, accusations the school recruited  four teens, refugees from Sudan, for their athletic abilities.

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The Illinois High School Association has ruled three high school basketball players from Sudan can continue to play for Mooseheart High School.

The board’s ruling was unanimous to allow the Sudanese players to play and overturned its executive directors decision from last month, which said that moose heart broke the rules, and brought these students here for the sole purpose of playing sports.

The school brought the four Sudanese students, who are between 6’4” and 7 feet tall, to the U.S. last year with the help of Indiana-based organization A-Hope, whose mission is to bring african students with athletic ability to the United States.  The IHSA says A-Hope took advantage of the young men.
“We really feel that the students were pawns in all of this,” said Dan Klett , IHSA board president.  “They did a very nice job presenting to us and explaining their particular situations.”

But while the Sudanese players can play, and so can Mooseheart’s team, the school is on probation and will have to sever ties with A-Hope, begin training all Mooseheart staff on IHSA compliance and file a plan with the board.   Or the team can’t play in the upcoming state basketball tournament.

And while the IHSA says it won’t investigate the A-Hope organization in and of itself, any school in the state who accepts referrals from them or any organization based on athletics will, by its rules, be ineligible to play.

Three high school basketball players from Sudan will find out Monday if they can continue playing for Mooseheart High School.

A judge has ruled that  four Sudanese high school students are eligible to play for their west suburban high school basketball team.

The students were accepted from war-torn Sudan about one year ago. They went on to become star athletes on the school’s basketball and cross country teams.

State high school officials had said those students are not eligible to compete because the school chose to accept them based on their athletic ability.

“Mooseheart Child City and Schools” — located in an unincorporated area of Kane County — has taken children out of dangerous environments for 99 years.

It provides them with housing and education, from infancy through high school.

Three of the Sudanese students are very strong players on Mooseheart’s basketball team — the fourth won honors for cross country.

The Illinois High School Association declared Thursday that Mooseheart improperly chose those students.

The association ruled that recruiting athletes internationally gives Mooseheart an unfair advantage over other schools.

Mooseheart claims it did not choose the students for athletic reasons, but based their decision on the children’s needs.

Tuesday, a judge allowed  temporary injunction allowing the teenagers to play until they can receive a full hearing.

A judge has ruled that  four Sudanese high school students are eligible to play for their west suburban high school basketball team.

The students were accepted from war-torn Sudan about one year ago. They went on to become star athletes on the school’s basketball and cross country teams.

A west suburban high school accepted four students from war-torn Sudan about one year ago.

They went on to become star athletes on the school’s basketball and cross country teams.

Now state high school officials say, those students are not eligible to compete because the school chose to accept them based on their athletic ability.

“Mooseheart Child City and Schools” — located in an unincorporated area of Kane County — has taken children out of dangerous environments for 99 years.

It provides them with housing and education, from infancy through high school.

Three of the Sudanese students are very strong players on Mooseheart’s basketball team — the fourth won honors for cross country.

The Illinois High School Association declared Thursday that Mooseheart improperly chose those students.

The association ruled that recruiting athletes internationally gives Mooseheart an unfair advantage over other schools.

Mooseheart claims it did not choose the students for athletic reasons, but based their decision on the children’s needs.

It is appealing the IHSA’s ruling, asking a judge for a temporary injunction allowing the teenagers to play until they can receive a full hearing.

Mooseheart attorneys and administrators were expected in court Tuesday.

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