Hot Topic High school basketball

Terrence Ross changes course, returns to hometown high school in Oregon

Guard Terrence Ross played for two years at Jefferson High in Portland, Ore., before becoming an All-Met at Montrose Christian.
Guard Terrence Ross played for two years at Jefferson High in Portland, Ore., before becoming an All-Met at Montrose Christian. (Preston Keres/the Washington Post)
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By Steve Yanda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Former Montrose Christian basketball player Terrence Ross enrolled Tuesday at Jefferson High in his native Portland, Ore., rather than at Westwind Academy, as school administrators at the Phoenix charter school expected him to do last week.

Ross played at Jefferson the first two years of his high school career before transferring to Montrose in 2008. During his sophomore season -- in which he was home-schooled by his mother while continuing to play for the Democrats -- Ross led Jefferson to a state championship and earned 5A player of the year honors.

"The main reason why was, for me as a parent, I could oversee and make sure that he is getting everything that he needs," Ross's mother, Marcine, said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "It would have been a little bit more difficult to do that from a distance. So I just decided to keep him close to home."

Ross, a former All-Met shooting guard who is rated by as the No. 43 overall prospect in the class of 2010, withdrew from Montrose on Feb. 2. Westwind Principal Kris Johnson said Wednesday in a phone interview that Ross originally planned to head straight to Arizona and stay at the school's boarding house.

However, Westwind was playing in the National Prep School Invitational in Kingston, R.I., last week and the school's boarding house was closed while the team was away, according to Johnson. Ross, instead, traveled home to Portland.

"I think that as soon as [Ross's mother] saw him, it was over," Johnson said.

Johnson said Marcine Ross called Bobby Bossman, who oversees Westwind's boarding house, on Tuesday to inform him Ross would not be attending the school after all.

In an interview with the Oregonian on Tuesday night, Jefferson Coach Pat Strickland said the school is working through the eligibility process regarding Ross. Jefferson (16-2) is ranked No. 1 in its Oregon classification.

Jefferson Athletic Director Mitchell Whitehurst said Wednesday in a phone interview that Ross and his mother were preparing a statement on Ross's reasons for return that will accompany paperwork to be submitted to the district athletic office Thursday.

A committee of district principals then will be called together to determine whether Ross should be allowed to play for Jefferson this season. Whitehurst said Ross was "eligible grade-wise," and that a decision should be reached within a week.

Marcine Ross sent her son to Montrose following his sophomore year because she did not want him to fall behind academically. The reason Ross left Montrose last week -- and the reason he originally planned to enroll at Westwind -- also were tied, at least in part, to academics.

"I hope he's successful," Johnson said. "I hope he becomes [an NCAA] qualifier by the end of it."

In December, Ross broke his oral commitment to Maryland and reopened his recruitment. Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Maryland originally were believed to be the schools primarily pursuing Ross's services, though that list may have grown in recent weeks.

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