By Stephanie Hammon
Friday, February 18th, 2011 at 3:34 pm in Girls basketball.
A judge in Alameda County Superior Court ruled Friday that Berkeley High senior Khristina Hunter is immediately eligible to play for the Yellowjackets’ girls basketball team.
Hunter, a 6-foot-2 forward who has signed a letter of intent to play at San Diego State, transferred from Rodriguez-Fairfield to Berkeley last spring. But she was denied eligibility by North Coast Section commissioner Gil Lemmon for a violation of California Interscholastic Federation Bylaw 510, which deals with athletically motivated transfers. Lemmon also denied her hardship waiver.
At a CIF appeal hearing in January, the Hunters said they didn’t disclose that Khristina played AAU basketball with several Berkeley players because they misinterpreted wording on the transfer paperwork. Failure to disclose AAU connections is a violation of the 510 bylaw.
A CIF appeals committee upheld Lemmon’s ruling in January, but the Alameda County judge saw the situation differently.
“The judge reviewed what was presented at the CIF appeal hearing and said she had a real financial hardship and there was no evidence of an athletically motivated transfer,” said Spencer Smith, a lawyer representing the Hunter family.
Lemmon said he doesn’t believe the CIF or NCS have any plans to appeal the judge’s decision.
“Obviously I didn’t necessarily agree with it, but this is a process,” Lemmon said. “I think the judge was very fair and very thorough, and it’s his decision so I have respect for that.”
The Yellowjackets have concluded their regular season, but are expected to be a top seed in the NCS Division I playoffs, which begin next week.