Colin Slater Jr., an award-winning freshman point guard last year at Clovis North High, won't play a game this season at Immanuel after losing a state appeal.
He had been originally declared ineligible by the Central Section CIF office because of an "athletic motivated" transfer, commissioner Jim Crichlow said.
The Slater family appealed the ruling to the state CIF office. After a three-week process, a three-person neutral panel -- two representatives from the Southern Section and one from the Central Section -- on Friday denied his request to play this season.
"He will be able to compete in the 2014-15 basketball season," Immanuel principal Ryan Wood and athletic director Aaron Henderson said in a school statement.
"Immanuel High School and the Slater family understand the process that CIF follows, but we are disappointed with the CIF decision."
Two weeks ago, Immanuel coach C.J. Haydock -- speaking for the school -- said: "We know we've done nothing wrong; our integrity's been upheld."
The "athletic-motivated" CIF ruling, however, implicates the family, not the school.
Colin Slater Sr. said last summer the family chose Immanuel primarily for academic and religious reasons: "The basketball piece on this is so very small."
Last season, his son defied his age by averaging 15.7 points, including 36 against Bee Outstanding Defensive Player, Khaneal Mason of Clovis West, and was named to the All-Tri-River Athletic Conference, Bee All-Star and Cal-Hi Sports' All-State Freshman teams.
He then was one of several high-profile athletes to enroll at Immanuel over the summer.
Two have had a resounding impact.
-- Senior running back Khalil Montgomery, who was immediately declared eligible after leaving Clovis West, delivered school records in rushing (2,663 yards) and touchdowns (33) in a Bee All-Star season.
-- Darrin Person, a 6-4 freshman forward who starred as an eighth-grader at Granite Ridge Intermediate in Clovis North's district, is averaging 22.1 points, 17.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocks for a 15-4 basketball team that's top-ranked by The Bee in Division V.
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