Guerdwich Montimere, 22, nabbed for posing as high schooler

Logo for Permian High School in Odessa, Texas. Apparently they don't teach the differences between 16- and 22-year-olds in health class, if Guerdwich Montimere's ruse is any indication.

Apparently, 22-year-old mojo is rather different than 16-year-old mojo. (Photo: Sports in Pop Culture)

Guerdwich Montimere clearly subscribes to the notion that high school represents “the best days of our lives.” The 22-year-old graduated from Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2007. A basketball star, he helped lead his team to the state semifinal before going on to a brief playing career at an Illinois junior college. Perhaps he couldn’t pay tuition without an installment loan. By 2009, the American citizen from Haiti must have realized he wanted more of the basketball life, but that he wasn’t quite good enough for playing time – that is, unless he was playing against 15-year-olds. So he made what he felt was a logical choice: He posed as a 15-year-old and enrolled at Permian High School in Odessa, Texas. As the Odessa American reports, Guerdwich Montimere (aka Jerry Joseph) has been arrested for his little game.

Guerdwich Montimere charged with using false identification

Not long after Guerdwich Montimere enrolled as an alleged 15-year-old junior at Permian, he moved in with head basketball coach Danny Wright. Wright considered him “a family member” and was devastated by news of Montimere/Joseph’s deception. “The whole school of Permian embraced that kid. He deceived us and played on everyone involved’s emotions,” Wright told the American. School athletic director Leon Fuller was absolutely flabbergasted: “I feel like I was hit by a ton of bricks. In my 50 years in education, I’ve never heard of anything like this.”

The Florida connection

Reports indicate that Permian High School received a hot tip from unnamed sources in Florida. Would that be Montimere’s less creepy, more morally grounded friends or family? Whatever the case, that tip is what led immigration to Jerry Joseph’s door. Their investigation led to Joseph’s unmasking as Guerdwich Montimere.

At least they have football

Odessa’s Permian High School is famous for its football program, so much so that it inspired the book “Friday Night Lights,” which in turn inspired a popular television series of the same name. Guerdwich Montimere’s grab for playing time on the hardwood forced the Permian Panthers boys’ basketball squad to forfeit the entire season in which he played.

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