WPIAL issues split decisions on 3 Imani Christian basketball transfers

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Tuesday, November 8, 2022 | 5:54 PM


The WPIAL cleared Imani Christian transfer Damon Givner to play his sophomore basketball season with the Saints, but two others were ruled ineligible after separate hearings Tuesday in Green Tree.

Kylan Holmes and Robert Sledge were both ruled ineligible in the sport for one year, said WPIAL executive director Scott Seltzer, saying WPIAL board members believed their transfers were motivated by basketball.

“They believed in some way there was an athletic purpose,” Seltzer said.

Imani Christian is one of the WPIAL’s smaller schools, but its basketball program has a big profile. Alier Maluk, a 6-foot-10 sophomore with Pitt and West Virginia among his Division I offers, helped the Saints reach the WPIAL Class A semifinals and state quarterfinals last season.

The league questioned Tuesday whether the players were possibly recruited, Seltzer said, but heard no testimony that caused the board to immediately call in Imani coaches or administrators for questioning.

“They still may ask to bring them in,” Seltzer said.

Holmes, a junior, transferred from First Love Christian Academy. Sledge, a sophomore, transferred from Bishop Canevin. Imani Christian can appeal their eligibility status to the PIAA.

A hearing for a fourth Imani Christian transfer, junior Rayshawn Saunders, was canceled but could be rescheduled, Seltzer said. Saunders’ eligibility will remain in limbo.

Givner and Saunders each transferred from Obama Academy of the City League. None of the transfers was flagged as athletically motivated by their previous schools, but the WPIAL board was concerned to see four players transfer into the same basketball program.

“Imani is not the only school where this happens,” Seltzer said. “You get those situations where sometimes it is per chance and sometimes you don’t know. You can only act on what you know.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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