Top prep center Sidney leaving Artesia for Fairfax

Times Staff Writer

What had been rumored for months was expected to be confirmed Wednesday when 6-foot-10 center Renardo Sidney shows up for the first day of classes at Los Angeles Fairfax.

Sidney said Tuesday that he was leaving Lakewood Artesia, the state Division III basketball champion, to enroll at Fairfax.

“I’m kind of excited,” he said.

Sidney, ranked the No. 1 center in the nation for the Class of 2009 by most recruiting services, arrived from Mississippi last year as a sophomore and led Artesia to the state title. There had been talk for months that he might transfer.


His arrival at Fairfax, the defending City Section and state Division I champion, will have a huge effect on the prep basketball scene.

“He’s going to change the landscape in the City,” Woodland Hills Taft Coach Derrick Taylor said. “No one matches up with him.”

Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani said he would wait to see whether Sidney arrived next week and showed that he was living within the Fairfax attendance boundary.

“When he gets processed and checks in, then I’ll know he’s coming to Fairfax,” Kitani said. “I’ve seen him play a few times, and he’s a special player. He’s big, strong, has inside-outside ability.”

Sidney’s arrival will make Fairfax a strong favorite to win the City Championship, but Taft’s Taylor said, “I think he makes them better. I don’t think he makes them unbeatable.”