Nathan Hale's Basketball Team Looks Super

The Times had an article yesterday about the new head boys basketball coach at Hale and what looks to be a very competitive team - as in competitive at both the state and national level.  Hale is now ranked as 22nd in the nation.  Two of Hale's games this year will be televised nationally.  Sixty students tried out and 14 made the team.

I had reported earlier this year that former NBA All-Star Brandon Roy was taking the head coaching job at Hale.  He receives $6,000 a year for his work, just like all the other SPS coaches.  Roy had wanted to coach at UW but chose to coach at Hale.

Coach Roy appears to have made his presence at Hale known to top high school boys basketball prospects and got one of the most highly-sought after high school players in the country, Michael Porter, Jr., from Missouri.  Porter's brother, Jontay, is also playing on the team.

By August, four more top basketball prospects transferred to the school including a player who had been on Garfield's basketball team, one from Lakeside, one from Edmonds-Woodway, one from Blanchet and one from Yakima.

 SPS does have open enrollment for high schools but that is based on capacity. And we all know about the current capacity issues.  There are only two comprehensive high schools that aren't full and Hale isn't one of them.

Tracy Libros used to run the Enrollment office and she had in place a process about checking addresses.  That usually occurred if the district itself had a suspicion about an address OR if it was reported to them.  The district had this process because of issues of enrollment at JSIS and MacDonald because so many people wanted to get into the dual language program.  Even further back, it was used because of people wanting to get into Ballard, Garfield and Roosevelt.  At the time I asked Libros, she confirmed to me that the district did investigate complaints.

I'm checking on that process now.  Interestingly, the Times' article had this to say:
"Everybody is concerned, you don't want bad rumors," said Roy, who was questioned most by principal Jill Hudson.  

" I don't control enrollment and the rumors aren't going to stop us from having a game on Monday."
Coach Roy apparently thought he would just be creating strategy and coaching and didn't realize:
"...being responsible for grade checks, parent meetings, ordering uniforms and scheduling transportation to games."
The other Metro coaches are fairly sanguine about Roy.  Seattle schools - Garfield, Rainer Beach, Ballard and Cleveland along with private school, O'Dea - have always been competitive teams.

I'm all for good teams but the players on those teams need to live within the boundaries of the school they represent.


Anonymous said…
"Coach Roy has recruited heavily and got one of the most highly-sought after high school players in the country, Michael Porter, Jr., from Missouri. Porter's brother, Jontay, is also playing on the team."

So this is where SPS sports is headed?

Anonymous said…

High time in this country to de-couple academics from organized athletics. I find the Canadian Junior Hockey system to be the most honest approach to developing pro athletes vs this pipeline of High School to the NCAA as "amateurs".

No other country has this intertwining of athletics and academics. Let schools focus on education and not as a clearinghouse for booster clubs and petty corruption...


Anonymous said…
Fun reading

Charlie Mas said…
Wherever the student-athletes used to live, if they now live in the Hale attendance area, then their enrollment there is legit.

Aren't there rules, however, against recruiting?
Anonymous said…
I wonder what is the racial equity test for varsity sports? And I thought you had to live in the neighborhood to go to a school.

too true
Anonymous said…
Melissa, according to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Ass'n handbook, recruiting isn't allowed.

ILLEGAL RECRUITING - Students who demonstrate special skills and talent in any of the activities under the jurisdiction of
the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association should not be subjected to pressures to enroll or continue to be
enrolled in a member school outside of their normal enrollment area. The rules do not prohibit legitimate school public
relations, promotion or marketing. Rather, these rules prohibit capitalization upon a school’s athletic program and/or a
student’s athletic interest, potential or proficiency as a factor in determining school attendance.
Efforts to induce students to enroll or continue to be enrolled in a member school because of the students' special
talent or skill is considered recruiting. Recruiting of students or attempted recruiting of students for athletic purposes is
prohibited, regardless of their residence.

I'd be very careful saying the coach "has recruited heavily" unless you have evidence of that. And if you do, Nathan Hale will likely have some problems...

Lynn said…
I recall reading (I think in a report from the city Ombudsperson) that the district no longer investigates false address reports. A lack of resources was cited as the reason.

I can't imagine moving an entire family from Yakima to NE Seattle for high school basketball.
Anonymous said…
@ Charlie, yes, if a student moves into the area their enrollment in the school is legit. However, their participation on the team isn't so black and white.

18.13.0 RESIDENCE RULE WAIVER - Transferring students, unless eligible via 18.10.0 through 18.11.0, shall be deemed to have
transferred at will and must apply to the WIAA District Eligibility Committee for a waiver of the Residence Rule. Such an application shall be processed under the appeal provisions contained in Article 19 of this Handbook. The procedure for evaluating a transferring student's application will be as follows:
18.13.1 The student must meet all other eligibility requirements of Article 18 of this Handbook.
18.13.2 The student must establish a hardship as defined under the provisions of Article 19.1.0 and as determined by the District Eligibility Committee.
18.13.3 There can be no evidence that either the student transferred for the purpose of participating in interscholastic athletics or transferred as a result of having been recruited for the purpose of participating in interscholastic athletics.

Anonymous said…
The Porters are homeschooled and live in the Hale boundary. Their dad took a job as an assistant basketball coach for UW and moved his family here.
Thanks, Rulebook, I'll ask about the waiver. As well, you are right about saying "recruited" because the article made it sound like the Missouri boys father just heard about the team from Missouri and decided it would be a swell idea to move here.

As for athletics, I'll say out loud what I said out loud at the budget meeting - if they are saying they need to cut about $70M for a year (I would hope and pray that the McCleary money would be there by the start of school year 2017-2018), then they should cut athletics for the year.

Lynn, that's an interesting point because the previous article in the Times about the Missouri boys moving here said the mother did not want to move so the father was moving with the boys while the mom stayed with her daughter. I would not think entire families have moved.
Anonymous said…
If I had a student who was a star athlete and who was likely to get a college scholarship based on that, and potentially a professional career down the road, I'd certainly be open to moving if we lived in an area that didn't offer good options. It's not all that different than picking our neighborhood based on the quality of the schools, or switching jobs to get a better one, or temporarily moving to another state to receive specialized medical care. We all weigh our options and do what we think we need to do to get the services or opportunities we need if we have that option.

Anonymous said…
People are free to move where they choose, but if the student or family was contacted by an SPS employee or surrogate before the move then it's a violation.

Read rules
BTDT said…
Kids have moved from other states to play basketball at Rainer Beach and Garfield before. Anyone remember that the last time SPS was in the news about enrollment investigations it was over if basketball staff Tony Wroten was really living in the Garfield attendance area or if he was being driven in from Renton where his parents lived every day?

If the whole Porter family hasn't relocated and BRoy is acknowledging recruiting, SPS is going to have a Bellevue Football sized problem on its hands any minute now.
Anonymous said…
The whole family doesn't need to relocate for a student to have a valid address. There are plenty of times where families live apart with a child going (or staying with a parent) for various reasons. Think of the Trumps - Melania and Barron are staying in NY while Barron finishes school next year. - NP
NP, absolutely. As I said, my understanding from a previous Times' story is that the students from Missouri relocated with their father to Seattle and mom and their other kids stayed in Missouri.
But, in order to NOT have a Bellevue-type problem, I would like to make sure everything was done properly. That's fairness all around both to students and parents and taxpayers.
BTDT said…
The way the WIAA rules work, it is a whole family move or you need to prove why the whole family didn't move, establishing that it wasn't for sports. There have been more than a few athletes who "moved" to addresses whose parents filed for separation the day the season started and withdrew the petition the week after the season was over to avoid the whole family move rule. There is a whole crazy world of schemes out there. The Porters probably had to file an eligibility appeal to explain why only the basketball players of the family moved, and the reason that they would need to give is not that they wanted to play basketball for Brandon Roy. It doesn't help that there was already speculation in the college basketball world that Romar only gave Porter the job to ensure that his son(s) would commit to UW. When he father makes it sound like they were school shopping based on who the coach was, that raises the ire of ADs everywhere.
Outsider said…
Minor league baseball has a low profile and doesn't make any money. But minor league football and basketball are hugely popular and make tons of money, because each team is attached to a college or university. Strange but true. Not everything strange is bad, however. The ton of money funds college athletic departments and pays for lots of other loss-making sports which would otherwise have to be cancelled or put on the taxpayer's tab.

High schools so far don't seem to get any share of the revenue, but maybe that's just from lack of creativity. Big city school systems could concentrate their best players at one school, and form inter-city leagues and get TV contracts and persuade middle-aged men to spend their Friday nights watching. The world is going mad anyway so what's one more thing?
Anonymous said…
I don't think it's fair to segregate the high performing basketball players from all the other kids, and then provide them with better coaching, better facilities, etc. I think SPS should implement an "Honors Basketball for All" program. Everyone should be allowed to play on the basketball team in the name of equity.

HCC Parent
Funny you should say that, HCC Parent, because Hale prides itself on being fair and even-handed.
Anonymous said…
@ Melissa, I understand where you're coming from, but how is it "fair" to require students to all take the same level of classes--even if some have already taken them and are ready for more? HCC students at Hale, for example, repeat 2 years of science. Their middle school science preparation is completely disregarded, even with EOCs under the belt.

It gets to that issue of equity vs. equality. Is "equal" most fair? If so, why do we provide special services for anyone? Or is equitable more fair? It would be more equitable to provide everyone with courses appropriate to their preparation level, with additional attention devoted to those who are struggling the most so they can hopefully make larger gains.

Anonymous said…
HCC students don't have to go to Hale. They can go to Ingraham or Garfield. I know that in math, HCC students can skip ahead to the appropriate level and then after Calculus, go to North Seattle College for higher levels of math. I believe the reason the science is like it is, is because of the academies they have in Freshman year and how the block classes are set up. Science is one of those block classes (LA, Science, Health, Social Studies) so it can't be easily changed. You can take any of these as honor classes.

Nathan Hale Academies:
For the fall semester, each academy has been further divided into a health/science block and a language arts/social studies block. Students will do course work in a single block first quarter, and then work in the other block second quarter. Your student will have either health/science or language arts/world history first quarter; second quarter they switch and have the block they did not have first quarter.Quarter academy classes are worth a semester credit per class. We are able to do this because the class periods are longer and the material is covered in an in-depth manner. Throughout the entire semester both blocks will focus heavily on reading and writing.

In regards to basketball, there are 3 teams or more to play on - varsity, jv, C team (sometimes Freshman team). Anybody who wants to play can play, just not necessarily on varsity. It is the same for all sports at Hale.


Lynn said…
Why offer a varsity basketball team (separate from JV and C teams) but not an honors history class or AP Bio or chemistry for 9th graders separate from regular history or physical science? Does the school exist to maximize student learning or student basketball skills?

The point is that Hale should not segregate 9th and 10th graders in academies because doing so limits the school's ability to provide services to students as required by state law. I anticipate all high schools will be doing something like this soon with Jill Hudson in charge of recreating the high school experience.
BTDT said…

Varsity, JV, and a C team (or a 9th grade team) are what you can field and have competition for. Each team is typically 10-12 players. 60 players tried out at Hale. That means at least 25 hopefuls didn't make the three teams. None of the variety starters attended Hale prior to this year. Romar gives Porter a job. Porters kids commit to UW. Porter starts looking for high schools for his sons to play basketball at (they don't actually attend school for academics, just sports), UW grad Brandon Roy becomes the Hale coach after years of being the patron to his high school team (Garfield), the Porters pick Hale because of Roy being the coach. Then other kids "move" to join the team. Including Garfield players Roy had mentored at his alma matter. It smells. Hope SPS has done some due diligence and that this doesn't end up blowing up in their face like the Chief Sealth girls basketball scandal of about ten years ago.
Mountaineer said…
But minor league football and basketball are hugely popular and make tons of money, because each team is attached to a college or university. Strange but true. Not everything strange is bad, however. The ton of money funds college athletic departments and pays for lots of other loss-making sports which would otherwise have to be cancelled or put on the taxpayer's tab.

Yeah, no.
Athletics departments that make more than they spend still a minority:
Myth: College Sports Are a Cash Cow:

HP, a student can be HCC eligible so yes, I suspect that Hale has its share of HCC students. I love that "just not necessarily on varsity." And I suspect that boys that played on the freshman and JV team hoped to be on varsity only to find that half the varsity team just happens to be new transfers. Hmmm.

But I'm looking into this and I'll let you know what I find out. As BTDT says, I hope SPS has vetted the whole thing because it would not be good to have a scandal over something that didn't need to happen.
Outsider said…
Mountaineer -- my point was not that college athletic departments as a whole make a profit. It was that football and basketball subsidize other sports, which I think is true. If not for all that sponsor and TV money coming in, colleges would have to either cut sports or spend more taxpayer cash on the athletic department.
Anonymous said…
And the kids that played varsity last year who have been bumped by 7 new transfers. Bet they weren't so thrilled with this turn of events. But hey, Romar can count on Roy to keep other college coaches away from his commits.

Melissa, as you look into this, you might want to see if the address of the new players who have moved into the Hale area happen to overlap with Brandon Roy's personal real estate holdings and real estate business. An astounding number of Garfield transfers used to live in real estate connected to Roy when he was the Garfield patron.

Anonymous said…
The other schools did not have coaching positions available. Hale did. Hale has had a really hard time keeping basketball coaches. Also, I too thought kids would be disappointed about being displaced but from what I have heard, most are excited about playing on teams with a chance at winning more than 2 games. The only complaints I heard was from members of the girls basketball team being shut out of the gym but that has been corrected and the girls are now given equal time.

Kids have always moved to be on the teams they want. I know of swimmers whose families moved to Roosevelt's area. Gymnasts who have moved to be at Ballard. It doesn't just happen with baseketball and football.

BTDT said…
Brandon Roy and Ed Haskins had a falling out. Which is a really big surprise seeing how Brandon had asked Ted Howatd to hire someone other than at Haskins to begin with, but Tony Wroten's father pushed Ed Haskins. If Brandon had his way, he would've replaced Haskins at Garfield and the Porter brothers would have joined him there. Pointing to other schools doing recruiting or transferring for athletic purposes doesn't make it right.
Anonymous said…
They don't have to recruit. The kids know which schools have better teams for their sport. I doubt Roy had to recruit much. All he had to do was say he was taking the job at Hale.

seattle citizen said…
On another sports-related note, Ultimate Frisbee continues to inspire with its "Spirit of the Game" attitude: Roosevelt and Cleveland, who have been Ultimate "rivals," are working together to send Cleveland's team to nationals. Roosevelt has been helping fundraise so Cleveland can go. yay!

The story can be found on Komo:

Rival frisbee teams band together to send one to national tournament
Anonymous said…
I love the spirit of the game exhibited through ultimate. For those looking for more inspiration, this group of teens (many founders are now in college) from many high schools around the Seattle area has done amazing things to take their generous spirit to Cambodia:


Mountaineer said…
Outsider, I grew up in a Big Ten college town, had family in towns where high school sports were the highlight of Friday nights, and played HS basketball, so I really get the pull of athletics. But I really don't think we have the whole picture of the cost of slicing the system to benefit athletics. This article sums up my feelings:

Melissa, do you have plans for a posting about Licton Springs, and the principal's push to move to an option site?
Mountaineer, I don't have enough info on that situation to write about it. However, I can just put up an open thread if people want to discuss it and provide information they may have.
RLF said…
This situation appears to be a violation of the WIAA Philosophy of Transfer statement as discussed in their cover statement and rules in section 18.11.0. If the school district does not intercede, then the WIAA should either get directly involved or rewrite the rules to circumvent the hypocrisy that now prevails.
Mountaineer said…
Thanks, Melissa. I'll email a few people and see if they can send you what they know. I don't know much, since I don't have a child at LS, but I will probably have one at REMS, so I've been trying to follow it..
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