|photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie|
Blakeney averaged 24.8 points and 7.6 rebounds last year in leading the Cougars to the Class 3A-Region 3 championship game but transferred to Oak Ridge in the spring because his mother took a job in Orlando.
The Florida High School Athletic Association approved the transfer of Blakeney as well as Alex Owens, a 6-foot-8 Bradenton native.
Each player's move to Oak Ridge was put under scrutiny because Blakeney and Owens play for Each 1 Teach 1 travel team. That team is coached by Edward "Boobie" Francis, who was an assistant at Oak Ridge, according to the report in the paper. He is no longer on staff, the Sentinel said.
"The member school (Oak Ridge) gave us a set of facts and asked us based on these facts to determine eligibility for two students," FHSAA compliance director Denarvise Thornton told the Sentinel. "We did communicate with various individuals by telephone. Both athletes are eligible to participate."
According to the story, the FHSAA spoke with the parents of both players, as well as Oak Ridge athletic director Janet Rasmussen, Francis and Oak Ridge head coach Alex Jackson.
"The FHSAA called and we answered every question they had," Jackson told the paper. "We're going to make sure these kids live in our zone and live with who they say they live with. We're moving forward."