After only about a week enrolled at John S. Burke Catholic, New Paltz forward Kena Gilmour has returned to New Paltz to play this season.
Several New Paltz sources, including teammates, confirmed that Gilmour is back at New Paltz, walking the halls. Gilmour’s arrival at Burke Catholic last week, along with another junior, Newburgh Free Academy’s Anthony Salmon, created quite a buzz in the Section 9 basketball community.
The moves put Burke Catholic’s juggernaut program further in the limelight. Several local coaches believe Burke Catholic has gained an added edge through recruiting, forbidden by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, of which Burke Catholic is a member.
Salmon remains at Burke Catholic, which steadfastly denies recruiting players.
According to team sources, Gilmour returned to New Paltz, in part, because he was concerned if he would be eligible to play at Burke Catholic and because of the attention his and Salmon’s moved grabbed. According to Section 9 sources, Gilmour would have most likely been approved to play for the Eagles by the Section 9 eligibility committee. As per New York State Public High School Athletic Association rules, Gilmour can still play for New Paltz this winter, despite his flip-flop.
According to the NYSPHSAA handbook, a student who transfers without a corresponding change in residence of his/her parents is ineligible to participate in any interscholastic athletic contest in a particular sport for a period of one year if the student participated in that sport during the year immediately preceding his/her transfer. Students who transfer from any school to the public school district of the residence of his/her parents (or other persons with whom the student has resided for at least six months) or a private school within that district’s boundaries are exempt from the NYSPHSAA’s transfer rule.
Such a transfer without penalty will only be permitted once in a high school career. Translation: Gilmour can only be eligible to play if he remains at New Paltz for the next two years.
Gilmour averaged 15 points per game last year and is projected to be one of Section 9’s top returning players this season. He helped New Paltz to last year’s Class A championship, where it lost to Burke Catholic 63-34. The Eagles went on to the Class A state title game, falling to McKinley of Buffalo 76-73 in overtime.
In May, the Section 9 athletic council approved the recommendation of the non-public school reclassification committee to elevate Burke Catholic from Class A to AA. The Eagles were moved from Class B to A last year. The Gilmour to Burke Catholic rumor had been swirling months. During an interview with the Times Herald-Record last season, however, Gilmour said he would not make the move to Burke Catholic.
As it turns out, Gilmour did bolt for Burke Catholic, only to come back across Ulster County lines.
For more on Gilmour’s return to New Paltz, check out Friday’s editions of Varsity845.com online, or pick up a copy of the Times Herald-Record.