On April 15, 2010, I received an email from New Mexico Force coach Ross Romero. Each year Romero brings a team of kids from New Mexico and Texas to the Real Deal on the Hill in Arkansas, an event I typically attend. In advance of the event, Romero sends out a blast email describing his team. One player in particular stood out: Jerry Joseph. He had Romero excited.
“6-5, Wing, 2012, Jerry Joseph (Odessa Permian HS - Odessa, TX) - high major potential - one of the top scorers in district as a Soph.”
During the event, I watched the Force and Joseph, who looked to me like a bull out on the court. I’ve seen thousands of high school sophomores in my day and the physically mature ones tend to stand out. Joseph looked older, much older. I can’t say I gave it much thought, as kids reclassify or are held back a lot nowadays. Plus, I’m sure on some level I saw “Permian” and thought Boobie Miles and Texas high school football. Either way, I noted he looked older, rated him a mid-major prospect as a small forward and included him in my report to college coaches.
“native of Haiti; new to game; not fluid yet but strong; give him time”
Give him time? Little did I know Joseph had turned back his internal clock.
Not long after the event, Jerry Joseph’s world unraveled. He was spotted by another group of kids from South Florida at the same event I saw him at and word got around that he was an impostor by the name of Guerdwich Montimere. Turned out, he’s not a sophomore after all. He graduated from Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and I saw him in 2006.
In Lawrence, Kan., at the 2006 Jayhawk Invitational there was a young man on the South Florida Heat roster named Guerdwich Montimer (spelled incorrectly I might add). As a senior-to-be at Dillard, Montimere was rated a low-major power forward by me.
“does a nice job rebounding and that’s his niche; will tip at the rim too!”
Once I read the "Outside The Lines" story about Montimere that ran Thursday and checked my notes from 2006 against what I saw in 2010, I realized what I saw. It was surreal.
There I was in Arkansas, noting how old the kid looked, and a few weeks later the story came out that Jerry Joseph is Guerdwich Montimere. To know I saw him four years apart in what was then his junior season at Dillard and to be going over my notes regarding Joseph, who was allegedly a sophomore, was crazy.
It doesn’t take long in this business to stockpile recruiting stories. However, this one turned out to be an all-timer.