Manassas Park High School’s boys basketball team will begin the postseason Friday with a huge addition.
Senior Josiah Freeman, a 6-foot-4 transfer guard from Paul VI who has signed with the University of Buffalo, will suit up for the 10th-seeded Cougars (9-13) when they play at seventh-seeded George Mason in the first round of the Class 3 Region B Tournament.
The Virginia High School League informed Manassas Park Thursday that Freeman was eligible to play for the Cougars in the postseason since he enrolled in the school before the regular season ended.
Had Freeman enrolled in Manassas Park after the conclusion of the regular season, he would have not been able to compete in the playoffs.
Freeman lives in Manassas Park’s district and attended Manassas Park Middle School before enrolling at Paul VI as a freshman.
Freeman returned to Manassas Park earlier this month and competed in the Cougars’ 93-39 win Feb. 14 over Skyline. Freeman scored 32 points in the victory.
Manassas Park ended up forfeiting that win after discovering Freeman had played in too many regular-season games.
Manassas Park activities director Dan Forgas said the school thought Freeman had only played in 20 games at Paul VI when Freeman arrived at the school. But they learned afterward he had actually played in 22, the maximum allowed regular-season games basketball players at VHSL schools can play in.
His appearance in the Skyline game marked his 23rd regular-season game.
Freeman was held out of Tuesday’s regular-season finale against Brentsville. Manassas Park told Freeman he might not play again for the Cougars, but the school sought clarification from the VHSL about whether he was still eligible to play in the postseason.
“People are going to criticize and be talking about this, but we were not going to do anything that would jeopardize the good of the team,” Forgas said.
Forgas said Freeman’s attitude was positive throughout the process.
“The way he behaved before, during and after the [Brentsville game], he acted like he’d been here all along,” Forgas said. “His enthusiasm was all rah-rah.”
Forgas said he did not know why Freeman transferred to Manassas Park. Forgas also tempered expectations now that the Cougars have added a Division I player to its lineup.
“As good as he is, we will have to go out and play,” Forgas said. “We’re excited to have him.”
247Sports ranks Freeman as a 3-star guard, and as the No. 17 player in Virginia and the No. 72 shooting guard in the nation in its composite rankings.