Mother Upset Over Handling Of Fight During Basketball Game In Elk City
HAMMON, Oklahoma - A mother believes not enough was done after her daughter was thrown to the ground by an opposing player during a basketball tournament.
The incident occurred last month, during a match between Merritt and Hammon schools inside the Elk City High School gymnasium.
A player from Hammon was caught on camera throwing punches and pulling a player from Merritt to the ground about three minutes into the game.
Heather Porter was watching as her daughter from Merritt was pushed to the ground. Porter's daughter was not hurt but she was worried.
"My first concern of course was safety, is she okay?" said Porter. "After that, I was upset with the call initially by the referee. As the game went on, I got more upset because both of the coaches’ reactions and later parent reaction."
A foul was called and the player from Hammon was taken out of the game, but only until the last few minutes when the team needed enough players on the court to finish the game they were winning.
Hammon Public School Superintendent Gary Baker issued the following statement to News 9:
"A girl on the starting five on our high school girls' team was assessed with a technical foul three minutes into the game. After commission of that foul, the coach pulled her from the floor. With about a minute and a half left in the game and our team ahead by about 20 points, the coach inserted substitute players into the game. Because there were only four non-starting players on the team, the girl who had remained on the bench since her technical foul was inserted with the substitutes so that the team would have five players on the court. When the team played the next night, this girl was no longer a starting player. She did play part of the game. During the following game, the girl not only did not start but remained on the bench the entire game. I will not comment on statements made by the coach and administrators to the girl who was disciplined by losing her starting position and, in the last game, losing her playing position."
Weeks have passed, Porter and her daughter hope for an apology.
Porter said Superintendent Baker has apologized for the incident.
"If you feel that you have made a mistake or are regretful in your actions, be apologetic," said Porter. "Just choose kind."
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) says they have not received a report on the incident. Only school districts can report incidents to the
OSSAA, something Porter feels should change.
"I get it, OSSA might be getting calls day in and day out, 'My little Jane didn't get to play but two seconds in the game,' I understand," said Porter. "But there are situations serious enough that a parent should have some kind of means of being able to contact them (OSSA)."