Wesleyan basketball player ruled ineligible

For the time being anyway, the tall and talented frontline for the Wesleyan boys basketball team has taken a hit.

Al-Farouq Aminu, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, was officially ruled ineligible in a hearing by the Georgia High School Association on Tuesday and will be relegated to the Wesleyan junior varsity team for a season.

Aminu played at Wesleyan last season before briefly enrolling this school year at Stephenson High, where his older brother Alade starred for the Jaguars last season. Alade Aminu now plays for Georgia Tech.

But when Aminu re-enrolled at Wesleyan this year, because of the GHSA's rule regarding public-school-to-private-school transfers, he was forced to sit out a season.

Wesleyan appealed the hearing, but on Tuesday his hardship case was denied.

"It means he can't play varsity at the present moment, unless he moves to Gwinnett County," Wesleyan head coach Bill Bufton said.

There's a "good possibility" that happens though, according to the head coach.

"They only live like one mile from the Gwinnett County line right now," Bufton said of Aminu, who lives with his mother. "And their lease is up soon, so she has an opportunity to move. If she does, he should be eligible to play again."

If not, he'll play on the Wesleyan JV team this season and won't be able to contribute to the Wolves' varsity, which features fellow 6-8 sophomore Howard Thompkins and could be one of the favorites to win the state title if Aminu was on the roster.

Aminu averaged 11.9 points and 9.7 rebounds last year as a freshman for the Class AA school.