For two consecutive weeks, The Modesto Bee has published letters from "concerned fans" regarding the so-called recruitment practices at Modesto Christian High School, especially regarding the boys varsity basketball team. My sons, Reeves and Raymond Nelson, are members of that team, and I would like to respond to some of the questions.
From an early age, it was apparent that Reeves, the oldest, had the chance to earn an athletic scholarship for college. While Reeves was attending Big Valley Christian in the eighth grade, I took stock of the basketball landscape. Clearly, the most successful local high school team was Modesto Christian.
I also considered moving my family to Virginia so Reeves could attend Oak Hill Academy (a consistent, nationally ranked program). This is my point as Reeves' dad: I have the responsibility and right to do what I think is best for my son. When I decided to keep my family in Modesto, I took advantage of putting my son in position to play with and against the best players this area has to offer.
Reeves wasn't recruited to Modesto Christian in any way. I voluntarily took Reeves to coach Gary Porter's basketball camp since Reeves was 10 years old, just like I took him to Dan Pacheco's camp at Davis High. What this boils down to is the success and level of competition available at Modesto Christian was all the recruitment I needed to make such an important decision.
Is it simply not a given that each child's parents come to a decision that attendance at a particular school is best for their child, that by attending that school, each parent is comfortable with the administration and teachers (and even the athletic programs) in place to aid in the development of their child?
Why anyone without first-hand knowledge would attempt to paint Modesto Christian with such broad, negative strokes is beyond me.