After this mess, he's no longer in
love with the woman, who he identifies as Nicole Cortez. He says she's working on an annulment.
When a team plays an ineligible
athlete in the State Athletic Association Tournaments, the team is removed from
the tournament. Now the events which
spiraled like a Lifetime movie, have left its mark on this community.
18 year old McKinzey
Sewell says his desperation to earn a high school diploma and play high school
basketball cost his team a shot at the state championship. Memphis City Schools accused the 6'6" player of
forging his transcript, after he obtained a GED in Louisiana. McKinzey's aunt said, "he was manipulated by
a person much older than him."
McKinzey says he fell in
love with 34 year old parent Nicole Cortez.
He says they met while he was playing summer league basketball with her
son. Then he says she bribed him. "She told me she didn't want me to go to
Ridgeway cause of the girls there, and the only way she would let me back there
if I signed the wedding papers I really wanted to be there felt like I had a
chance at doing something I loved to do, so I did it," says McKinzey.
She made good on her
promise, then he did too. He says their
30-minute courthouse marriage happened in Arkansas a few months ago. "Right now, I don't know what I was thinking
she provided for me a whole bunch didn't want to be out of the situation I was in, just did it."
McKinzey's aunt McKini Spain
says they were duped by Cortez, who claimed her connections, not fraud, could
help him play Ridgeway basketball. But McKinzey still takes responsibility for
hurting his team.
McKinzey said, "I
apologize to my teammates this was our year to win state and I'm sorry I messed
that up for them."
Since the players lost
their chance at state, the community has lashed out.
Parent Dennis Price Sr.
says, "somebody in the school system should've caught this."
Jecorey Anderson, an 11th
grader says, "really cheating our basketball team we was going to be the
Parent James Haney says, "why
have the kids that worked so hard done everything supposed to why are they
paying the cost, for what is going on, outside of basketball, something wrong."
McKinzey denies the most
disturbing allegation of recently killing his coach, in an attempted cover-up
of the basketball scandal. "I mourned
the loss just like everybody else did, they just trying to pin his murder on me,"
A Memphis City School says
they discovered the fake transcript after a student claimed to be threatened
via text last week. McKinzey says the
threats were made by his wife, against a 19 year old Ridgeway student who he was
having an affair with. McKinzey says
his decisions in the past year, taught him precious lessons off Ridgeway's
court. "You can't want for someone to
take care of you, if somebody promises you a
good life, comes with consequences."
McKinzey's aunt says his next plan is
to attend college. MCS says no employee
of the district was involved in the fake transcript, but McKinley's aunt says Cortez
worked in graphic design with MCS, and took pictures which were posted on the
Timeline of McKinzey's history:
McKinzey says he's in the process of moving
out of Cortez's home but he's having trouble reaching her. We stopped by a home listed under Nicole Cortez
but she was not there.