A powerhouse high school program fielding ineligible players is not unprecedented in Miami. Consider the Jackson Five. In the 1974-75 season the Miami Jackson High School Generals peeled off a 33-0 record, winning games by an average of 30 points. Seven members of the team were major-college signees. Four of the starters were drafted by the NBA. One of those players, Mychal Thompson, was selected first overall by the Portland Trailblazers. (He went on to star for the Los Angeles Lakers.)
More than a year after the Jackson Five downed Winter Park to claim the state title, the FHSAA stripped the school of the championship. Four Bahamian transfers were declared ineligible. One was too old. Another had already graduated from high school on his home island. Although four asterisks now sit next to Jackson's name in the state record book, officials at the school have yet to return the trophy.
Julio Davila was the Jackson Five's starting point guard. After graduating from Jackson, he played ball at Western Kentucky University. He moved to New Orleans and took a job with a Fortune 500 company before returning to Miami in the late Eighties. He and his family settled into a house in Coral Gables.
Thanks to Dade's strong tradition of high school basketball, Davila has been able to see his legacy repeated. His son Jemel is emerging as one of the leading three-point threats in the county. Only a sophomore, Jemel contributed a solid 8.8 points per game this season for his high school team. Although the Davila house lies well within the boundaries of the Coral Gables attendance zone, Jemel does not play for the Cavaliers. Thanks to a transfer into the education magnet program, he plays for Miami High.