Skal Labissiere cleared to play for Kentucky in 2015-16, report says

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Kentucky forward Skal Labissiere is eligible to play for the 2015-16 season, the NCAA has determined, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports.

The NCAA reportedly was looking into the 6-foot-11 Haitian's relationship with his guardian, Gerald Hamilton.

Labissiere, ranked the No. 2 freshman in his class and considered a top draft pick in the NBA whenever he declares, moved to the United States after a magnitude-7.0 earthquake devastated his native Haiti, settling in the Memphis, Tennessee, area with Hamilton as his guardian. He played at two area high schools, but after being ruled ineligible, he played for a team affiliated with Hamilton's nonprofit, Reach Your Dream Prep.

Labissiere, among six freshmen on Kentucky's roster, was picked for the preseason all-conference team along with teammate Tyler Ulis. Another freshman, LSU forward Ben Simmons, was chosen as preseason SEC Player of the Year.

A Kentucky spokesman told's Andy Katz on Friday: "We don't confirm eligibility of any of our student-athletes until the first game."

Kentucky coach John Calipari said Wednesday that he was confident Labissiere would be deemed eligible.

"There are probably 50, 60 kids that went through this, there are probably 15 still going through it,'' Calipari said Wednesday. "Last year at this time, five of our kids hadn't been cleared yet. So we're all feeling good, he's feeling good, and we're going to play the first game and we'll see."

Labissiere had been practicing with the team. The Wildcats open the season on Nov. 13 against Albany.

ESPN Senior Writer Dana O'Neil and the Associated Press contributed to this report.