3 Sudanese teens can play for Ill. school

Dec. 11, 2012 at 2:35 PM

BATAVIA, Ill., Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Three Sudanese teenagers can play basketball for a Chicago-area school for troubled young people, the Illinois High School Association says.

The IHSA ruled Mooseheart will not be eligible to play in the 2013 state tournament unless it drafts a compliance plan on recruiting, reviews its rules and provides training for its coaches, the Chicago Tribune reported. The school was also ordered to cut its ties with African Hoop Opportunities Providing an Education, or A-HOPE, which brought the three Sudanese players and a cross-country runner from the Sudan to Mooseheart.

Members of the association's board said they were impressed by the statements Mangisto Deng, Akim Nyang and Makur Puou made at Monday's hearing. They said the three teens, who range in height from 6-foot-7 to 7-foot, had spent a year at Mooseheart without playing.

"I'm very excited," Puou said Monday evening when news of the decision came to the locker room as the team prepared for a game. "I'm very happy. I really don't know how I got here. Maybe God."

Mooseheart, a residential school run by the Loyal Order of Moose, defeated Hiawatha Senior High School in Kirkland 66-28 Monday.

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