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Christmas leaves North Catholic for ANC

The Rakeem Christmas era at North Catholic is over. The highly touted basketball player got his release Monday from the Philadelphia Catholic League school. The 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward, who just completed the 10th grade, will attend the Academy of the New Church in the fall.

The Rakeem Christmas era at North Catholic is over.

The highly touted basketball player got his release Monday from the Philadelphia Catholic League school. The 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward, who just completed the 10th grade, will attend the Academy of the New Church in the fall.

"My big thing was a better opportunity," said Amira Hamid, Christmas' aunt and legal guardian. "It's not that anything bad happened at North. We are just looking at more of a level of greatness."

Christmas was at the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Va., and could not be reached for comment.

"It's not just a basketball thing," Hamid said. "It's about wanting the best possible thing for a kid."

Christmas averaged 10.6 points, 7.32 rebounds, and 3.28 blocks last season.

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