After some of the information didn't check out, the Gazette published a column headlined, "Do homework before hitting proposed prep academy" that warned students to "beware" before signing up.
Betty Jordan, who handles private school requests as executive assistant to the state superintendent of schools said at the time she didn't have any information about the school. Kanawha County school officials also said they hadn't heard the proposal.
Hicks said Sunday night that he had a letter from Jordan dated July 22 that said his school had been approved.
Teenagers from all over the United States, and France and Africa, had come to South Charleston to attend the prep school.
"They didn't have just your average basketball players," Lee said. "I watched them play and the kids from France and Africa are NBA material.
Lee said the teenager from France had come to South Charleston with his mother, who is still in the area.
"She's torn up, because she had to make a decision whether to send her son on with the coach from Oklahoma or fly them back to France," he said.
Edward Killingsworth, a star football player for a high school in Warren, Ohio, had decided to attend West Virginia Prep Academy "instead of colleges such as Michigan State, Toledo and Ball State," according to an April 27 article in the Tribune Chronicle, a newspaper in Warren.
The article stated the West Virginia Prep Academy is a private school preparing students for college in postgraduate work.
"Daniel Hicks explained attending the school would not affect Killingsworth's eligibility in playing college football and is the equivalent of red shirting in college," the article said.
It is unclear whether Killingsworth is one of the students who came to South Charleston last weekend.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.