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PHILLIPS' DISMISSAL FROM PLANT UPHELD

The Hillsborough County school district has upheld Plant High's dismissal of boys basketball coach Mike Phillips for providing housing information to a prospective student-athlete who hadn't yet enrolled at the school.

Phillips, who spoke on his own behalf at a 50-minute administrative review at the school district office April 20, confirmed the county's decision Monday morning. The Florida High School Athletic Association fined Plant $2,500 and placed it on administrative probation after the school reported its findings from a self-investigation.

Phillips acknowledged providing the number of his sister-in-law, a Realtor, to the mother of the student-athlete shortly after encountering her in the school office, where the mother was trying to enroll her son. The student-athlete eventually enrolled at Blake.

The winningest coach in program history (250-152), Phillips said he was only trying to help the young man and his mother, categorically denying that he intentionally cheated or recruited. At the hearing, principal Robert Nelson said he felt Phillips didn't intentionally try to recruit the student-athlete, but should never have engaged in those conversations with his mother.

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Sickles' Henson earns third straight Parade honor

The Parade procession continues through the Henson family home. Despite an injury-stricken senior year, Sickles senior low-post star Amber Henson has been named a Parade All-American for the third consecutive year, the magazine announced in a news release. The complete team will be revealed in Sunday's issue.

Henson, who has signed with Duke, is the only bay area player on the team. She previously was named the Gatorade Florida Player of the Year and a McDonald's All-American. Her older brother, John, a 2009 Sickles graduate who recently announced he'll remain at North Carolina for his junior season, is a previous Parade honoree.

Despite missing some early-season action because of complications from left knee surgery, Henson recovered in time to lead Sickles to the Class 5A state tournament. She averaged 20.7 points, 13.7 rebounds and 6.8 blocks.

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