A month after Nation Christian Academy (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) CEO Mike Woodbury’s profanity-laced video berating Marvens Petion, a Haitian basketball player, and other players at the school, went viral, the Eagles are experiencing a mass exodus.
In the 3-minute, 27-second video, Woodbury, among other things, threatened to send Petion “back to Haiti.”
In all eight players have left the program since Woodbury’s comments; Jay David’s organization, The Gateway Initiative, which helps to place international players at credible prep schools, has placed five of the players.
He said that he’s been in contact with four other players and is currently trying to find them schools.
“We’re still trying to figure out a way to place those players at quality schools,” said David, who serves as president of The Gateway Initiative. “We are trying to put in a structure to where we can vet schools so things like this don’t happen again.”
David declined to comment on which players have left the program but said that two are at Lee Academy (Maine), three are at The Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.) and one is at Woodstock Academy (Conn.), but that player wasn’t placed by David’s organization.
Petion transferred to West Oaks Academy (Orlando) immediately after the incident, and a day after the video leaked, Taylor Schildroth, a guard on NCA’s postgraduate national team, announced via Twitter that he was leaving the school.
David said The Gateway Initiative didn’t place any players at NCA.
DISCLAIMER: This audio and transcript contain profane and explicit language.
“The situations are difficult because it’s so late in the year,” David said. “We’re still trying to help the ones that are still there it’s just a matter of trying to find the right fit. Some of the kids were there free so that makes it more difficult. The big thing is that people are starting to realize the importance of vetting schools.”
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