BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The leading scorer on the Section VI champion Amherst boys basketball team is back on the roster for the state playoffs.
Jordan Alexander, a 6-foot-4 junior, returned to practice on Thursday following an order from the New York State Education Department. Having transferred to Amherst from Maryvale before the season, Alexander was removed from the roster two weeks ago and did not play in Amherst’s four sectional playoff games amid questions about his residency in the district.
State semifinalists last season, Amherst (21-3) is ranked 13th in the state in Class A and overcame the absence of its leading scorer to repeat as sectional champions. The Tigers will play 18th-ranked Irondequoit from Section VI at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Gates-Chili High School.
Alexander’s disputed residency and eligibility status led to Buffalo Public Schools filing a complaint this week with the New York State Division of Human Rights Section VI accusing Section VI the New York State Public High School Athletic Association of “discriminatory and disparate treatment,” and called on the section to apply “its rules equitably across districts and [ensure] its processes are fair and equitable.”
In a press conference at City Hall on Wednesday before Amherst won against McKinley in the Section VI Class A crossover championship game, BPS board members argued that Amherst should face the same sanction that Bennett’s football team did when they were forced to forfeit four regular season victories and coach Steve McDuffie was suspended for one game because the Tigers used an ineligible player due to a “clerical error” regarding the freshman’s transfer from Sweet Home.
Mark DiFilippo, executive director for Section VI, called the claims from BPS “simply incorrect.” Anthony Pinella, superintendent for Amherst Central School District, also disputed the BPS complaints in a written statement.
“In all instances we have abided by the rules and will continue to do so,” Pinella said. “It is unfortunate that some members of the Buffalo Public School system have shared false information about a confidential student matter they have no factual knowledge of nor jurisdiction over.”
Pinella did not respond to questions regarding Alexander’s eligibility status.
Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.