As one of the best players in the Class of 2015, 6-foot-11 center Skal Labissiere has been offered by many of the nation’s best college basketball programs. Yet while the question of where he’ll attend college remains unanswered, there was also the matter of whether or not Labissiere would be allowed to play his senior year of high school.
After transferring from Evangelical Christian School to Lausanne High School last month, the Memphis-based Labissiere was ruled ineligible for competition by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. An hardship waiver request was filed on Labissiere’s behalf in hopes of convincing the TSSAA that the move was not for competitive reasons, but Friday afternoon it was reported by the Memphis Commercial Appeal that the request had been denied.
John Martin of 92.9FM ESPN in Memphis wrote the following about the decision handed down by the TSSAA:
In order for a hardship waiver to be granted, there fundamentally has to be a hardship. Deciding to change schools because of disagreements with your last school’s coaching staff, strangely enough, does not qualify as a hardship.
In mid-August Labissiere released his final six schools via Twitter, with those programs being Baylor, Georgetown, Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina and Tennessee. He’s already taken an official visit to North Carolina (last weekend) and is scheduled to visit Georgetown this weekend.
Kentucky (September 19-21), Tennessee (October 3-5) and Baylor (October 10-12) will also host Labissiere officially, with the talented big visiting Memphis unofficially on October 31.
What makes Friday’s decision interesting is the fact that Labissiere will effectively miss his last two years of high school basketball, with a stress fracture of the L5 vertebrae limiting him to just two games at Episcopal Christian School last season. However, he did return to the court this summer, playing well in the various tournaments and camps he participated in and getting better as the rust wore off.
With a season of high school basketball now off the table, Labissiere will have to rely on workouts to hone his skills before joining the college program of his choice next season.