In light of new information learned following the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, the Boston Spartans’ 13-Under entry in the tournament has been disqualified due to having an ineligible player, and they will no longer be recognized as the champion. The Icemen, their opponent in the championship game, will now be acknowledged as the champion.
The age of Boston Spartans player Jeffrey Barbosa, who competed on their 13-Under team, was disputed, but Spartans officials contended he was age eligible. By tournament rules, this means that he would be 13 years old or younger on September 1, 2014. Spartans officials provided Hoopville with what was claimed to be a copy of Barbosa’s birth certificate, which listed his date of birth as June 23, 2001.
The Hoopville Spring Finale’s age rule states that a player’s age is his age as of September 1, 2014. This means that a player can compete in the 13-Under as long as he was 13 years old on September 1, 2014 and turned 14 after that. This rule is slightly different from the current AAU age rule.
The copy of the birth certificate – it is important to note that it was a copy, not the official certificate with an embossed seal – lists his mother as Candy Cuevas, who is also listed as his mother in other documents Hoopville has obtained. At a little past 7 a.m on the morning of Tuesday, June 23, 2015, Cuevas went on her Facebook page to wish her son a Happy Birthday. Her post, which contained two photos of Jeffery Barbosa, read: “15 years ago god gave me the blessing by giving me a beautiful awesome boy, his name is Jeffrey and today is his birthday. God bless you my son keep doing the right thing. Love you”. It then contained a Spanish translation, followed by the two photos.
Cuevas later removed the post, but a screen shot was captured while it was live and Hoopville obtained the screen shot.
Barbosa played with the Spartans in this age group all weekend as they won both games on Saturday to get to Sunday’s final, then competed in the championship game as well, which the Spartans won.
The fact that Barbosa turned 15 years old on June 23, 2015 means he was 14 years old on September 1, 2014. That means he was ineligible to play in the 13-Under division.
This leaves the Boston Spartans as champions in four age groups at the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale. For the Icemen, it is their first championship in the event.
Hoopville considers this case closed and will have no further public comment.