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Inside murky world of high school transferring

3/9/11 SummitIL Curie's Cliff Alexander (12) dunks ball over Lyons Township's Henry Wils(35) go for rebound IHSA 4A sectional semi-final

3/9/11 Summit,IL Curie's Cliff Alexander (12) dunks the ball over Lyons Township's Henry Wilson (35) go for a rebound in the IHSA 4A sectional semi-final at Argo High School in Summit on March 9, 2011. Rob Hart~Sun Times Media

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The first in a four-part series on the ever-changing landscape of high school sports in Illinois.

Updated: March 30, 2014 4:40PM

Curie boys basketball coach Mike Oliver first watched Cliff Alexander play the summer after Alexander’s eighth-grade year.

Oliver noticed Alexander was 6-6 but overweight, unskilled compared to smaller players his age. But a handful of high schools in Chicago were salivating about him just because of his size.

‘‘The whole West Side was after him,’’ Oliver said of Alexander, who by his senior season would commit to Kansas and be named the 2013-14 Sun-Times Player of the Year. ‘‘And after his freshman year and sophomore year, everyone tried to get him to transfer. All the way up to his senior year, people were trying to get him to leave Curie.’’

He didn’t. But many other players as skilled as Alexander do make the switch, highlighting the transfers and inherent recruiting that the Illinois High School Association struggles to police.

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