Sun Sentinel Broward Edition

Eubanks signs with ’Bama after long battle

- By Ryan S. Clark Staff writer

Kobie Eubanks provided his own long-awaited closure Monday when he signed with the University of Alabama.

The four-star shooting guard played three years at American Heritage before transferri­ng to Our Savior New American School in Centereach, N.Y. for his senior season, during which he signed with Baylor.

As an incoming freshman for the Bears in 2014, Eubanks decommitte­d in November after discrepanc­ies in his American Heritage transcript­s made him academical­ly ineligible under NCAA rules. Eubanks and his father, Clayton Eubanks, later filed a $75,000 lawsuit against Heritage, alleging grade manipulati­on. At the same time, Eubanks enrolled at Elev8 Sports Institute, a post-graduate academy in Delray Beach.

“I have waited a long time to make this decision and it was a long process,” Eubanks said on Monday. “God, my family and my coaches at Elev8 got me through my prep-school year.”

Alabama fought off Kansas, Oregon and Texas for the Fort Lauderdale native, who averaged18.5 points per game as a senior. Eubanks said both Florida and Florida State made late runs for his signature.

The 6-foot-5 Eubanks, who was a two-time Sun Sentinel first-team allcounty selection while at Heritage, said he left the school so he could improve as a player and prepare for the next level.

Michael Simon, Eubanks’ attorney, said when his client transferre­d to Our Savior, the Long Island-based school was provided with one transcript by American Heritage, but Heritage sent a different transcript to Baylor. On the first, Eubanks’ grade-point average was reported as 2.5; on the second, his GPA was listed as 2.37.

“Those transcript­s were delivered to Baylor,” Simon said. “When the NCAA was doing the signing-off for the scholarshi­p, they noticed the transcript they got from Heritage didn’t match the one Our Savior had on file.”

The lawsuit remains unresolved in Broward civil court.

American Heritage officials could not be reached for comment Monday.

Eubanks improved both his grades and his game by attending Elev8.

“Kobie was one of our top players this year,” said Cody Toppert, Elev8’s director of basketball developmen­t. “He was one of our leading scorers and one of our leading rebounders and he was among the leaders in other categories too.”

Elev8, formerly the Bucky Dent Baseball Academy, serves high school students while providing a post-graduate program. Students are allowed to take one core high school course to raise their GPA and take college classes each semester for a total 12 classes, according to the Elev8 website.

“It’s been tough,” Eubanks said. “You’re at a school for a couple of years and you get close to the people you are playing with. You never think you are going to leave them to go to another school. But then you also have to think about what is best for you too.”

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