Have you ever heard of Findley College Prep High School? 

(Bill Gaffey for pahoops.org, 1/13/10)   email pahoops@verizon.net

It opened in 2006 in Henderson, Nevada and was launched with $1 million in backing by auto magnate Cliff Findlay who has a  Toyota dealership .  What is the total enrollment of the school?  The exact amount of players on the basketball team!!  It has no other students.  So the student body has fluctuated from 8 to 10 total students in its three years of operation.  In January, Findley Prep was ranked as the #4 high school team in the USA.  Mt. Lebanon of Pennsylvania was ranked  #10 and has 1,907 students in grades 9 thru 12.  Is this a joke or what?  No, its a very carefully crafted plan to make money.  ESPN televises the games of these highly ranked fake schools and makes money.  Nike provides clothing and then gets these players later as college stars to endorse their product.  Cliff Findley steers top recruits to his alma mater, UNLV.  The entire operation stinks!!  And it is further fueled by the national rankings of USA Today who is in the business of selling newspapers.  They don't rate  the top apples in the USA with  the top automobiles.  They have nothing in common, and Findley Prep and high school basketball have nothing in common.  In fact, speaking of apples, we detect a rotten apple.
 Sports Illustrated
reports that "Cliff Findlay, a UNLV booster set up the basketball program all by himself. The players live in a house that he paid for and fully stocked with furniture, big screen TVs, food—for when they aren't eating out on the Vegas strip—and Nike clothing. (As assistant coach lives there as their babysitter.) He also pays for all their equipment and travel costs when they go to away games."   These players  have more perks and fewer rules to follow than college players. 

Certainly, blame must also be laid at the doorstep of the educational administrators who have helped build this house of cards to help their educational institutions.  All its players attend the Henderson International School, which has its own athletic teams.   But the Findley College Prep players are considered students at Henderson where they pay an annual tuition of $14,000 per student, or should we say Mr. Findley pays.  (Note: Three years ago,  Henderson International was called Warren-Walker School).

While the Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association has permitted the Findley College Prep Pilots to play against its member schools, Findlay is finding considerably more opposition in other states.  Both California and Georgia have ruled against schools from their state playing against Findley College Prep because "Prep is just a basketball team. There is no school called Findlay Prep."  The program is not sanctioned by the Nevada Interscholastic Athletics Association"  Then the question becomes why have other states not stepped up and banned competition between their member schools which are actually schools and this hoax called Findley College Prep.  Eight kids portrayed as a real school.  This is not high school athletics. 

 President Calvin Coolidge once said "the business of  America is business.!"   This is big business.   ESPN makes money, Nike makes money, Henderson International School makes money.  Every school that plays Findley College Prep makes money.  Where does Pennsylvania and our PIAA stand on this issue??

In an exclusive interview with Brad Cashman, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc. (PIAA), on Wednesday, January 13, 2010, we learned that PIAA member schools would be precluded from playing a school like Findlay College Prep since Findlay is not a member in good standings of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA).  Mr. Cashman characterized Findlay College Prep as a “basketball-only school.”

Mr. Cashman further explained that PIAA had recently received an inquiry from a similar school/team design from Erie, PA.  The inquiry came from a “so-called school”, referring to themselves as North American Academy, and seeking membership in PIAA for scheduling opportunities with PIAA member senior high school boys’ basketball teams.  They planned to affiliate with Erie First Christian Academy (EFCA).  Mr. Cashman praised the EFCA headmaster for bringing this to the attention of PIAA.  .North American Academy only sought membership for basketball and Mr. Cashman informed the EFCA headmaster that any application from that school would not be approved.

I asked him about the possibility of PIAA member senior high school boys’ basketball teams meeting a team like Findlay College Prep in one of the many high school tournaments staged across the United States now days.  He informed us that the states which host those tournaments would have to seek approval from PIAA for participation of its member schools in out-of-state events.  He further stated that he would alert his staff to guard against such participation against entities like Findlay College Prep.  (I almost made the mistake of writing “schools” like Findlay College Prep.)

I also spoke to Donnie Nelson, the Assistant Director of NIAA, the Nevada counterpart to PIAA.  He stated that in the case of Findlay College Prep, NIAA “recognized” them, but that Findlay College Prep was not a NIAA member school and that “recognition” allowed them to play 8 games per year against NIAA member schools, but that Findlay could not participate in postseason state championship competition.  He said that NIAA receives inquiries from other states concerning Findlay, and his reply is that they are “recognized” but not a member.  Then it is left to that state to determine if they want to permit competition between schools from their state and the Findlay College Prep team.  We asked if they had a definition for the use of the word “recognized” and he said they did not.

I told him about the PIAA experience with the North American Academy, and he said that we would probably see other situations (we can’t call them schools) like this pop up in the future.

Our hats are off to PIAA for warding off the same situation in Pennsylvania.


The Findley College Prep schedule   (Note: no Pennsylvania schools are on the schedule).

This is the 2009-2010 Findley College Prep roster:

Nigel Williams-Goss Portland, OR 6'3" 2013
Marko Petrovic Zagreb, Croatia 6'4" 2010
Cory Joseph Toronto, Onatrio, Canada 6'3" 2010
Nick Johnson Gilbert, AZ 6'3" 2011
Tristan Thompson Brampton, Ontario, Canada 6'10" 2010
Thomas Laerke Copenhagen, Denmark 6'4" 2010
Winston Shepard Fresno, TX 6'7" 2012
Dekeeba Battee Aston Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia 6'8" 2012
Godwin Okonji Lagos, Nigeria 6'8" 2010
Henry Uwadiae Benin City, Nigeria 6'10" 2012

This was the 2006-2007 Findley College Prep roster:

Ricky Criado G 6-0 Jr. Cabo Rajo, Puerto Rico
Ilija Djordjevic F 6-4 Sr. Lebane, Serbia
Deividas Dulkys G 6-4 Jr. Silute, Lithuania
Hamid Ford G 6-0 Jr. Los Angeles, Calif.
Nedeljko Golubovic F 6-8 Sr. Pljevlja, Montenegro
Rodney Haddix G 6-3 Sr. Georgetown, Kentucky
Carlos Lopez C 6-9 So. Lajas, Puerto Rico
Brice Massamba C 6-9 Jr. Sodertalje, Sweden
Rony Tchatchoua F 6-6 Sr. Douala, Cameroon
Wouter Van der Eng C 6-9 Jr. Alphen aan den Rijn, Holland

Story credits:
Hand-picked Findlay Prep squad ready for unveiling
(Oct. 11, 2006   Las Vegas Review-Journal )

High School Basketball Without The High Schools, (Apr 9, 2009, Dashiell Bennett)

Findley Prep has their 45 game win streak snapped  by Northland (Columbus, Ohio),  (12/17/09, Ronnie Flores, ESPN RISE)

Nation's Top High School Team Doesn't Actually Represent a High School(12/ 21/09, Michael Tunison)

UCLA Great to coach local High School Basketball,  (this article was submitted by Jim Gaffey, Auburn, NY)

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