Patterson's Aquille Carr changes his mind, will play in Boost Mobile Elite 24

Junior guard flew out to California on Thursday despite questions about whether his eligibility would be jeopardized

August 25, 2011|By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun

Patterson basketball standout guard Aquille Carr has decided to play in the sixth annual Boost Mobile Elite 24 basketball showcase this Saturday in California, despite questions being raised about whether that would affect his high school eligibility.

Sponsored by ESPN and also in connection with Under Armour, the Boost Mobile game is set for 7 p.m. Saturday in Venice and will be televised live onESPNU.

After hearing from Baltimore City Public Schools that playing in the game may violate a rule in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association's guidelines on Tuesday, Carr, a rising junior, cancelled his original flight that was set for Wednesday. On Wednesday night, Carr and his family changed their minds and decided he should play. Carr picked up another flight Thursday afternoon and headed to California.

"We just felt like we had to stand up for what is right," said Alan Carr, Aquille's father. "We prayed about it as a family and decided as a family. I think he deserves to play, so we're willing to go the whole nine yards. Aquille deserves the chance to be seen nationwide."

The potential violation involves a rule in the state's handbook under "Limits of Participation." If the event is considered a high school all-star game, and Carr participates, he could be ruled ineligible to play for Patterson this winter.

But if the game is deemed an event affiliated with an outside group, such as AAU summer basketball, Carr would not be subject to punishment for playing.

A second issue under the same rule is whether the student-athlete was contacted through his high school to participate in the game — which would be a violation — rather than being contacted by the outside organization.

The Boost Mobile game features 24 of the top high school players in the nation, selected by ESPN high school basketball experts and other leading talent evaluators. When the announcement of selected players was released on Aug. 11, ESPN wrote that players were chosen "based on their performance during AAU tournaments and national summer camps."

This summer, Carr, The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Player of the Year, has spent time with the Under Armour B'More's Finest and Team Melo AAU programs.

In 2009, former Lake Clifton standout Josh Selby played in the same game before his senior year with no questions being raised.

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