LOS ANGELES (CBSLA)– The player’s coach seen punching an opponent in a viral video addressed the incident for the first time on Saturday.
“First of all, I want to mention that my most sincere apologies were expressed to the Ham Family on behalf of our Academy, the day Lauryn was injured,” wrote Alex Wilson, the head coach of the Dream Basketball Academy.
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“I want to make sure that our Academy takes these things very seriously and DOES NOT CLASSIFY this type of behavior. ALWAYS. (sic) “
The player in question was seen in the virus video punching 15-year-old Lauryn Ham during a youth club basketball game on Sunday, November 7th. Ham suffered a bruised neck and concussion. Wilson said the player was later suspended indefinitely.
The girl, who will not be named because of her age, is the daughter of former NBA player Corey Benjamin. According to some witnesses, the player was provoked to punch Ham by her mother.
“We are helping [the player] and her mother enters counseling and anger management as well as service to community work, “wrote Wilson.” They could not have been more sorry for their part in this unfortunate turn of events. “
A second video appeared of the player trying to fight another player in a separate game. Wilson claims the video is taken out of context.
“A second video is circulating from September with no context and zero connection to what happened last Sunday in Garden Grove,” he wrote. “The September clip was the result of cheap shootings from players [her] during the game and referees-in-training are not equipped with the experience needed to control the game at this special event. (sic) “
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Since the viral incident, the Ham family has filed a police report. They also want the offensive player and her mother banned from youth basketball and prosecuted. However, Wilson believes that is too far away.
“[The player], already in pain, made a mistake during an emotionally taxing moment in Sunday’s game, ”he wrote. Her mother made a mistake she wished she could pick up too. Do we really want to ruin the future of a 13-year-old (now 14-year-old) because of this mistake? (sic) “
Wilson has shown the recent turmoil between reigning MVP of the National Basketball Association Nikola Jokic and Markieff Morris. Jokic was suspended one match after pushing Morris to the ground.
“Does the court of public opinion require any indictment against him?” wrote Wilson. “Are we trying to end his career?” No, of course not. Do we call it a race-inspired attack ?? Obviously not! That would make no sense in these cases. Just like it makes no sense in this matter with these two young girls (sic). “
Wilson asked the public to give the girls and their families space to use that as a teachable moment.
Ham’s family said they hadn’t heard from the other player or her mom yet.
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Wilson’s full statement can be read here.