Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local Sports

January 26, 2013

Oliver quits Crisp County girls basketball program reportedly for good

Cordele — Highly-touted Crisp County High basketball player Nasheema Oliver has apparently suited up for a final time with the Lady Cougars.

Benched for almost an entrie game against Worth County last weekend for an on-court incident involving she and first-year head coach Barrett Wilkes, Oliver was given a chance earlier this week to return to the team.

After a Tuesday meeting that included the player, her parents, Wilkes and CCHS principal Howard Fore, Oliver declined to rejoin her teammates when told what obligations she must meet in order to do so.

Her father, Greg, has since contacted The Albany Herald to give his and his daughter’s side of the story and also to reveal she will be transferring to another school at the end of the current term.

Greg said that after the incident for which details have never been disclosed his daughter was asked to sign a contract that called for her to sit out two games in order to be able to return to the team.

Nasheema, the team leader in scoring and rebounding, refused to do so, leading Greg to tell The Herald she would not be playing at Crisp County either now or in the future.

““We are going to sit out the rest of the year,’’ he said. “We are going to find another home. We are going to move.’’

Until then, he said Nasheema will prepare for another season of AAU basketball this summer with her Atlanta Metro team and will also transfer elsewhere for her final season of prep play.

Greg said numerous college scouts from around the country have seen his daughter play and have flooded her with hundreds of letters as part of the recruiting process.

“You know one of those big 55-gallon trash cans?,” Greg queried Herald sports writer Mike Phillips. “I can fill up one of those with the letters she has gotten from colleges.’’

Among them, Greg said, are Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Duke, LSU and Louisville.

“My daughter is not a trouble child,” Greg said. “I raised six children and none of them have been trouble. She has had to put up with all that drama. She won’t be going back.”

Wilkes, meanwhile, continues to say little about the incident he described at the time it happened as “a team matter that we handled.”

He basically reeated the same statement after a game the Lady Cougars had this past Tuesday in Albany where they lost to a Dougherty County squad they had previously beaten.

“It’s a team matter and she’s no longer with us,” Wilkes told The Herald writer attending the contest. “We’re a team and we’ve got to play together and stick together.”

He said he had every bit of faith in his remaining players and noted he believes they “can play with anybody if we play the way we’re capable of.”

He also expressed opinion those players were disappointed in the loss of Oliver and noted they “believe in each other and I believe in them.”


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