Alleged Adults Disqualify Teams From Youth Basketball Nationals Because No Girls Are Allowed In Their Clubhouse
Two teams of young basketball players were disqualified from the National Travel Basketball Association’s annual tournament just before the finals this week, because it turned out they had girls playing for them! Gosh, what a disaster. I hope all the boys took hot showers while the officials had the stadium thoroughly cleaned of cooties.
According to The Washington Post, the Charlottesville Cavaliers are an 11-and-under basketball team from Charlottesville, Va. 10-year-old Kymora Johnson has been playing with the team since she was five, because there were no girls’ teams for kids her age. The Cavaliers, with Kymora, have even played in the NTBA’s national championships in previous years, but this year they were disqualified just before the championships, even though they were on a five-game winning streak.
The 10-year-old begged officials to disqualify her alone and let her team play without her. She offered to sit on the bench, or in the audience, or not come at all, but the team was still disqualified.
According to NTBA president John Whitley, the “no girls allowed” rule is new this year and was put in place after parents in previous years complained. Whitley and the Cavaliers’ coach disagree on whether or not it was made clear before the tournament that Kymora was not allowed to play, but the coach said he would have followed the rule if the organization had actually told him about it. Johnson went through the registration events in person, but organizers say they did not realize she intended to play and thought she was just registering to sit on the bench with the team.
“We have no problem with the girls sitting on the bench,” Whitley said. “We don’t care who sits on the bench with the teams, that goes for anybody … to sit on the bench.”
Johnson was understandably upset and disappointed by being excluded. Another team was reportedly also disqualified for having a girl on the team this year, and this can’t be setting a good example for them or for the boys.
“I felt frustrated, disappointed and shocked because we got disqualified and I know it wasn’t me because all my teammates were saying that it wasn’t my fault,” she said. “I wanted my team to be able to win the championship.”
The parents of Johnson’s teammates should be very proud of their sons, though, because Johnson’s teammates have supported her 100 percent. Whereas pettier children–the kind who might grow up to run the National Travel Basketball Association and He-Man Woman-Haters Club–might have blamed her for the disqualification and gotten angry, Johnson said the young men she’s been playing alongside for years have her back.
“They were nice and supportive. They were all, like, ‘It’s not your fault!’ ” she said.
During the Nationals, when the Cavaliers should have played, Johnson’s teammates stood on the sidelines wearing pink shirts in support.
Man, those are just the best kids. Is this a Disney movie yet? Because it sounds like a Disney movie.
(Photo: iStockPhoto/ DNY59)