No one gets kissed at end of this sports hoax

And they say life doesn’t imitate art.

A 22-year-old Memphis, Tenn., man faked his way back into high school so he could play on the basketball team. And because of the hoax, Ridgeway High School is ineligible for the remainder of the postseason after reaching the regional final.

McKinzie Sewell, a 6-foot-6-inch forward, used his wife to pose as his guardian and help him forge his transcripts. But Sewell has a GED diploma from Louisiana and, according to several media sources, is a former gang member.

Sewell’s chutzpah extended to the uniform number he wore at Ridgeway — No. 22, which matched his age — and the account he opened on BeRecruited.com, a scouting service for high school athletes.

Because the school used an ineligible player, it forfeited its semifinal win over Whitehaven High and was barred from the remainder of the playoffs.

If you’ve seen this story before, perhaps you saw “Never Been Kissed,” the 1999 film in which David Arquette fakes his way back into high school to play baseball. That didn’t turn out too well, either, though Drew Barrymore got the guy, her English teacher, to kiss her at the end of the movie.

■ TIMELY PROMOTION — Someone in the Los Angeles Kings’ marketing department looked like a genius Monday.

The Kings held “Cap Night” at Staples Center, and Kings forward Jeff Carter scored three goals — a hat trick — in Los Angeles’ 5-1 win over Nashville.

Naturally, the time-honored tradition of tossing hats onto the ice greeted the accomplishment. And since thousands of fans were supplied with caps, it wasn’t long until the Staples Center ice was littered in black hats.

Carter opted not to snag one of the thrown lids as a souvenir. Perhaps he can score a nice fedora next time he gets a hat trick.

■ SEASON ON THE BLEAK — Plenty of debate has been stirred over which college basketball team is the nation’s best. But there should be no debate as to which team is the worst.

That distinction goes to the Grambling State Tigers, who are 0-27 and can get to 0-28 if they lose their opening-round Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament game to Alabama A&M next week in Dallas.

Two years ago, Grambling made it to the SWAC tournament finals, and, had the Tigers beaten Alabama State, they would have received the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. But Grambling lost the game 65-48, and things have been going downhill since.

Joseph Price, Grambling’s fourth coach in the past five years, has just eight scholarship players, the result of having not met the NCAA’s minimum standards for its Academic Progress Report. Grambling has lost each game by double digits and will finish at the bottom of the rankings — No. 347.

Technically, the Tigers still are eligible for the NCAA Tournament. All they have to do is win the SWAC tournament — four games — and they’re in. Hey, a guy can dare to dream, can’t he?

COMPILED BY STEVE CARP
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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