Investigation clears Rialto girls basketball program

An investigation into allegations of recruiting made by the family of former player Diamond Smith in the Rialto girls basketball program and head coach Michael Anderson has found no wrongdoing according to Rialto principal Andres Luna.

“We have verified that the players in question live in the Rialto High School enrollment area,” Luna said. “We did two home visits to the players in question and both times, either the mother or father answered the door and the child was at the home.”

One of the players in question, according to Luna, was believed to be junior guard Summer Webb, who played for Corona Roosevelt High School a year ago. The Webb residence in Rialto was visited twice between Jan. 6 and Jan. 8 as part of a probe run through Rialto athletic director Dan Williams. The meeting which launched the inquiry was held Jan. 5, as Smith’s family, led by mother Bessie Wilson, met with Luna and various Rialto Unified School District administrators.

“We appreciate Ms. Wilson bringing these concerns forward and we made it a point to check up on them immediately,” Luna said. “Along with the in-home visits, we called both the mother and father at home and asked them a series of questions and visited the old residence in Corona, where we didn’t find them living there.”

Luna also mentioned that a copy of the report will be sent to the CIF-Southern Section offices.

The three-week investigation also addressed Wilson’s allegations of mistreatment toward her daughter and other players by Anderson in the form of verbal harrassment and punishment for missing practices for academic reasons.

Smith, a former captain three-year starter for the Knights and the second-leading scorer on Rialto’s co-Citrus Belt League championship team a year ago, left the team right before the season after a dispute with Anderson. Smith, who has a 3.8 GPA according to Wilson, has since transferred to Carter, where she is not playing basketball.

Luna said that administrators in the school district have addressed Wilson’s concerns with Anderson’s staff and Williams and hopes that the dialogue will help in communicating with players in the future.

“We went to them with concerns and got their side of the story,” Luna said. “We encompassed all of the concerns that Ms. Wilson brought to us and we want to make sure that all of the student-athletes are treated fairly with their best interests at heart.”

The Knights (17-4, 8-1) are once again at the top of the CBL under second-year coach Anderson, as they find themselves a game ahead of Eisenhower and Redlands East Valley with five to play.

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