HS Coach Accused of Recruiting Boy, 16, From Mexico to Play Basketball, Forces Kid to Sell Gourmet Popcorn Instead
Cesar Landin, 16, wanted to come to the United States to play on a select high school basketball team. In fact, his parents were so desperate to get the boy this opportunity that they reportedly paid Theodore Berry, an assistant basketball coach at Lewisville High School (Texas), $300 a month to make it happen.
But instead of playing b-ball, Landin was forced to sell gourmet popcorn. Yes, you read that correctly: gourmet popcorn as part of some fundraising scheme. No rebounding drills, no three point shooting seminars, no ball handling classes: just going door-to-door selling over priced popcorn to strangers.
According to the teen, he “was forced by threats of violence to sell the popcorn in the city of Lewisville, Texas or he would be beaten.” Landin also claims that Coach Berry shoved him at some point, likely for not pushing the high end “upscale” gourmet popcorn items.
Not surprisingly, Landin’s parents were not happy with this arrangement (college scholarships for gourmet popcorn sales are not as common as they used to be) and eventually showed up in the US to get their son and filed assault charges against the coach/former national sales champion.