Category: girls basketball

Girls basketball coach on leave after alleged post-dodgeball assault of student

A Texas girls basketball coach has been placed on leave after an alleged assault of a student in one of his classes following a dodgeball incident.
As reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bowie (Texas) girls basketball and track and field coach Chuck Hall was placed on leave following an initial report by Child Protective Services to local police. The subsequent police report paints a picture of a disturbing incident sparked by a dodgeball altercation.
Here’s more from the Star-Telegram:
A police report was filed Feb. 5, alleging the coach yelled at a 14-year-old student after the coach was hit in the head with a dodgeball as the class ended. The two then ended up on a gym floor with the coach on top of the teen, according to the report.
The incident in question was captured on security video, and Hall has not denied his involvement. Rather, he issued an apology for his role in the incident.
“I’m deeply regretful and sorrowful for the position that I have put my family, my friends, my girls basketball team, the school, and more than anyone else, the student and his parents,” Hall said in a telephone interview with the Star-Telegram.
There has been no indication of when Hall’s case may receive further review, or whether he will return to the sidelines during the basketball or forthcoming track season. For now, a deeper investigation into the dodgeball incident is ongoing.

Legendary Texas girls basketball coach resigns amid recruiting investigation

One of the most decorated girls basketball coaches in Texas state history has resigned just as her most recent accomplishments are suddenly being thrown into question.
As reported by Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate KXAS, longtime Duncanville (Texas) High School girls basketball coach Cathy Self-Morgan, the winner of an astounding eight state championships, resigned Wednesday, before the findings from an internal investigation into Self-Morgan and alleged recruiting practices were made public.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the University Interscholastic League (which governs high school sports in Texas) had already mandated an investigation into allegations that Self-Morgan wrongfully recruited other area athletes to Duncanville. While the findings from that internal investigation have not been made public, it’s widely assumed that the investigation found significant evidence that Self-Morgan responsible for recruiting violations.
That, in turn, may have been what truly pushed Self-Morgan over the line. In a closing statement to the Duncanville fans, the longtime coach said it was time for a change:
“I have been in Duncanville for 19 years, and some of those have been the highlight of my coaching career,” Self-Morgan said in a statement to the media. “I have loved my Pantherettes and our amazing fans, but after 42 years of coaching it’s time for me to step away. That’s why on February 4, I submitted my letter of retirement. I will always cherish the memories I have from this district and with my Pantherettes.”
While it is unknown what sparked the investigation, the acrimonious departure of superstar post player Hannah Gusters — who transferred to Irving MacArthur in mid-December — may have played a factor. Here’s more on that from the Morning News:
Gusters’ mother, Sheridane, said she has copies of text messages between Self-Morgan and a local trainer/AAU coach that her attorney sent to the District 6-6A executive committee and that were then sent by the DEC to the UIL for her daughter’s eligibility hearings.
If true, that might be the closest thing to a smoking gun in the case against Self-Morgan at Duncanville. While school officials have insisted that Self-Morgan planned to retire, the timing of her departure with the ongoing investigation remains fishy, at best.

For deaf Tennessee HS siblings, playing sports just another daily adjustment

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GREENFIELD, Tenn. — Greenfield sophomore Caroline Crouse wears a headband while playing basketball to protect a device that none of her teammates have to wear.
Her brother, senior Jackson Crouse, knows that if his falls out while he’s playing basketball, he tucks it in his shirt until the next timeout.
They were born deaf and fitted for cochlear implants early in life. Even though there are still times when they can’t hear everything that is said to them, they have adapted.
“Most people are surprised because if you look at me, you can’t tell,” Caroline said. “Most of the people that I have grown up with have always known.
“People think it is worse than it really is. When you have had this your entire life, you adapt to it. I don’t know any different.”
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device that turns sounds into electric signals that the brain can interpret. The sound processor fits around and in the ear, while the implant is on the side of the skull.
Greenfield’s Jackson Crouse (20) speaks with his head coach during a TSSAA basketball game between Greenfield and Gleason at Greenfield School in Greenfield, Tenn., on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Photo: Henry Taylor/The Jackson Sun)
Hearing in day-to-day life can be tough, but on the basketball court or in the classroom, it can be even tougher.
“Hearing may be more difficult for me than my classmates and teammates, but I can read lips,” Caroline said. “Usually my teachers put me in the front, but even if I am in the back, I can read lips.
“I have to always look at my coach. There have been times that I have missed a play call, but I just do it right the next time down the floor.”
And when the crowd is loud, hearing it is even tougher.

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“Jackson has an understanding of his capabilities and what to look for and when to look for them,” boys basketball coach Chad Levister said. “Anytime there is a break, he makes sure to look at me. I have been around him long enough that he can pick out my voice when anything is being said.”
Caroline has a friend in Reese Biggs who she relies on. Greenfield girls coach Willie Trevathan knows that if he says something, Biggs will make sure it gets to Caroline.
“Communication is something that we all have to work at with her,” Trevathan said. “She does a good job looking for all of us to tell her if we are making an adjustment. Reese has grown up with Caroline her whole life, so when we call something in, Reese comes over to make sure Caroline knows.”
Greenfield’s Caroline Crouse (21) prepares to defend against Gleason players during a TSSAA basketball game between Greenfield and Gleason at Greenfield School in Greenfield, Tenn., on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Photo: Henry Taylor/The Jackson Sun)
There was never a question about letting the siblings play sports. The Crouse family is a basketball family as their father, Stephen, and his brother Jeff Crouse were members of the 1984 Greenfield boys basketball team that won a state championship.
“Sports is a big part of my husband’s family for sure,” said Stephen’s wife, Tiffany. “We did ask (the doctors) how dangerous it would be. They said football would be the most dangerous, so we never steered Jackson toward football.”
Jackson, who also plays baseball, was fitted for his cochlear implant when he was 3, and for Tiffany, that was tough for her first born.
“With Jackson, we were a bit more concerned because we had never dealt with that,” Tiffany said. “I didn’t even know anyone who had a cochlear implant.”
Jackson and Caroline wear their cochlear implants unless they are showering or sleeping. Growing up, Jackson showed his friends and classmates what the implant did, and many were surprised.
“They can’t believe how great the cochlear implant works,” Jackson said. “When I have it off, I am deaf, but they are amazed when I put it on and can hear.”

Former New York HS football coach, special ed teacher charged with rape

WEBSTER, N.Y. — A former coach and special education teacher in the Webster Central School District in New York is facing rape charges.
The charges against Kali Watkins, 42, were announced Wednesday morning in a joint news conference with the Webster Police Department and Webster Central School District. Watkins is a former special education teacher and varsity football coach at Webster Schroeder High School (N.Y.).
Former Webster Shroeder football coach Kali Watkins. (Photo: Staff photo)
Watkins was indicted by a Monroe County grand jury on one count of first-degree rape and one count of second-degree rape, said Monroe County assistant district attorney Meredith Vacca.
Vacca said the first-degree charge relates to having engaged in sex by forcible compulsion, and the second-degree charge relates to engaging in sex with a female child less than 15 years old. The incidents are alleged to have occurred in 2016 and 2017, she said.
Officials would not say if the victim was a Webster student.
At the news conference Wednesday, Webster schools superintendent Carmen Gumina said internal concerns about Watkins’ conduct at Webster Schroeder were raised in November 2017, leading to a district investigation and Watkins being placed on  administrative leave. During that probe, Gumina said, “the district was informed of an unrelated criminal allegation,” which officials referred to the Webster Police Department. Watkins was fired by the district on Dec. 22, 2017.
Webster Police Chief Joseph Rieger said his agency’s investigation began immediately then and has been “ongoing ever since.”

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Watkins, who had been the Schroeder football coach for the previous eight seasons, started the 2017 season as coach of the Webster Schroeder girls varsity basketball team but was quickly replaced by veteran softball coach Meaghan Keil.
The Democrat and Chronicle reported in December 2017 that parents of girls basketball players were told in mid-November 2017 that Watkins was taking a leave of absence.
Watkins was named Monroe County Division I football Coach of the Year in 2017 but did not attend the banquet to receive his award. He is a former receiver and safety at the University of Buffalo and was a two-year captain for the Bulls and a 2014 inductee into the Section V Hall of Fame.
According to Monroe County Jail records, Watkins was being held without bail on a sealed indictment as of Wednesday morning.
Read more at the Democrat and Chronicle.
Includes reporting by D&C staff writer Justin Murphy.

Midseason 2019 ALL-USA Girls Basketball Player of the Year Candidates: Midwest Region

<p><strong>School:</strong> Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) <br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Point Guard<br />
<strong>Height:</strong> 5-10<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Uncommitted<br />
<strong>Noteworthy</strong>: Bueckers averages 26.1 points, 5.8 assists and 4.9 steals per game. She scored a season-high 37 points against Cooper in a 99-64 victory. She’s the No. 1 recruit on ESPN for the 2020 Class. She ranks second in all-time scoring among Hopkins players, tallying 1,926 points in her varsity career so far. Hopkins has started the year a perfect 17-0.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Mark Bloom/All Sport Photography</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Rogers (Toledo, Ohio)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong>  Point Guard <br />
<strong>Height:</strong> 5-9<br />
<strong>College:</strong> South Carolina <br />
<strong>Noteworthy</strong>: Cooke became a national sensation when a highlight tape that showed her scoring 43 points went viral. Dwyane Wade, Chance the Rapper and other celebrities took notice of the highlight tape. She is the No. 2 point guard in the 2019 class and the seventh-ranked prospect overall, according to ESPN. Cooke averages 23.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game through 15 games.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Srijita Chattopadhyay/Naples Daily News</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Africentric (Columbus, Ohio) <br />
<strong>Position:</strong>  Guard <br />
<strong>Height:</strong> 6-1<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Tennessee <br />
<strong>Noteworthy</strong>: Horston is the No. 2 overall recruit in the 2019 Class and the top-ranked guard, according to ESPN. She was named to the McDonald's All-American team this season. She was named the MVP of the 2018 FIBA Uunder-17 World Cup. She averages 16.1 points, eight rebounds, four steals four assists per game this season for Africentric.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Ebony Pegues</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Western Boone (Thorntown, Ind.) <br />
<strong>Position:</strong>  Guard <br />
<strong>Height:</strong> 5-7<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Davenport University <br />
<strong>Noteworthy</strong>: Jones is Western Boone’s all-time leading scorer. She scored 50 points — a single-game record for her school — against Benton Central to lead her team to a 69-67 victory, per the Lebanon Reporter. She scored 49 in her team’s opening game this season, the Indy Star reported.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Jenna Watson/IndyStar</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> West Side (Gary, Ind.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Guard <br />
<strong>Height:</strong> 5-7<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Uncommitted<br />
<strong>Noteworthy</strong>: Shaw averages 25.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 4.7 steals per game for Gary West Side this season. She scored 23 points on 10-12 shooting in a 47-45 victory over Chesterton this season, per The Times of Northwest Indiana. She has yet to miss a game this season.</p>

<p><em>Photo: QueSean Mason</em></p>

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As the season reaches the the halfway point or close to it around the nation, USA TODAY High School Sports is assembling our midseason report with installments throughout the week, where we will be break down the candidates by region.
MORE CANDIDATES:
BOYS: Northeast | Southeast | Midwest | Frontier | Pacific
GIRLS: Northeast | Southeast | Midwest | Frontier | Pacific
Here we’re taking a look at the midseason candidates for the 2019 ALL-USA Boys Basketball Player of the Year in the Midwest Region.
The national Player of the Year award will be presented in April.

Take Our Poll
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NOTE: Poll results are not used in selection of the player of the year.

2019 McDonald's All American Game Girls Roster

The McDonald’s All American Girls Game is scheduled to tip Wednesday, March 28 at 5 p.m. ET from State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
On the girls’ side four players hail from Ohio, the most represented state.
RELATED: McDonald’s Boys Roster
South Carolina, Stanford and Florida State led the way with three recruits apiece.

Name
Pos
Ht
School
College

River Baldwin
P
6’5″
Pleasant Home (AL)
Florida State

Breanna Beal
W
6’0″
Rock Island (IL)
South Carolina

Aliyah Boston
P
6’4″
Worcester Academy (MA)
South Carolina

Jakia Brown-Turner
W
6’0″
Bishop McNamara (MD)
NC State

Samantha Brunelle
F
6’2″
William Monroe (VA)
Notre Dame

Zia Cooke
PG
5’9″
Rogers (OH)
South Carolina

Aubrey Griffin
W
6’1″
Ossining Senior (NY)
UConn

Jordan Horston
G
6’1″
Africentric (OH)
Tennessee

Diamond Miller
G
6’1″
Franklin (NJ)
Maryland

Ashley Owusu
PG
5’9″
Paul VI (VA)
Maryland

Sammie Puisis
W
6’1″
William Mason (OH)
Florida State

Celeste Taylor
G
5’11”
Long Island Lutheran (NY)
Texas

Girls East Head Coach: Sue Phillips, Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif.
Girls East Asst. Coach: Tami Monson, Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif.
Girls East Asst. Coach: Joe Guerra, Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif.
WEST TEAM

Name
Pos
Ht
School
College

Francesca Belibi
F
6’1″
Regis Jesuit (CO)
Stanford

Kierstan Bell
G
6’1″
McKinley (OH)
Ohio State

Kennedy Brown
P
6’6″
Derby Senior (KS)
Oregon State

Nyah Green
G
6’1″
Allen (TX)
Louisville

Angel Jackson
P
6’5
Salesian College Prep (CA)
USC

Rickea Jackson
W
6’2″
Detroit Edison Academy (MI)
Mississippi State

Haley Jones
W
6’1″
Archbishop Mitty (CA)
Stanford

Jordyn Oliver
G
5’10”
Prosper  (TX)
Baylor

Charisma Osborne
PG
5’9″
Windward School (CA)
UCLA

Jaden Owens
PG
5’6″
Plano West (TX)
UCLA

Anaya Peoples
PG
5’10”
Schlarman Academy (IL)
Notre Dame

Ashten Prechtel
P
6’5″
Discovery Canyon Campus (CO)
Stanford

Girls West Head Coach: Lee Rogers, Arundel Senior, Gambrills, Md.
Girls West Asst. Coach: Donna McGowan, Arundel Senior, Gambrills, Md.
Girls West Asst. Coach: Ana Baker, Arundel Senior, Gambrills, Md.

POLL: Vote for the Super 25 Girls Basketball Top Star, Week 5

Here are the candidates for this week’s Super 25 Top Star. Players are nominated based off games played in the previous week.
Vote now in the poll below.
RELATED:  Super 25 Girls Basketball Rankings, Week 5 
MORE: Super 25 Boys Basketball Top Star, Week 5
NOTE: Players can only win once per season | Voting ends Friday at 2 p.m. ET

Take Our Poll
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Super 25 Girls Basketball: The top stays steady, Archbishop Mitty enters back into the rankings

The top seven teams went undefeated this week, and that was evident from the rankings — not a single team from that list of seven dropped down.
Full Rankings: Super 25 Girls Basketball Rankings
Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.) High School is still unbeaten and remains atop the rankings for the third week in a row. Miami Country Day (Fla.) and Saint John’s College (Washington D.C.) are ranked second and third, respectively, and the two each have one loss.
Centennial (Las Vegas) was a big mover in the middle of the rankings. The Bulldogs move up to No. 12 after being ranked No. 18 the previous week. The team won twice this week with blowout victories over Fairmont Prep (Anaheim, Calif.) and Windward (Los Angeles). Windward moves down to 20th after ranking 8th last week.
Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) was the preseason No. 1 but after back-to-back losses to Southridge (Beaverton, Ore.) and Grandview (Aurora, Colo. ) they dropped out of the top 25. Since those two losses, the Monarchs have reeled off seven straight wins, playing their way back into the rankings. The team, which is No. 24 in the rankings, is led by Haley Jones. Jones has committed to Stanford and is considered the top recruit in the nation, according to ESPNW.

As celebrities ask for clemency for Maori Davenport's suspension, Alabama HSAA refuses to back down

The celebrity heat on the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) continues to rise after the AHSAA’s season-long suspension of star Henderson High School (Troy, Ala.) girls basketball player Maori Davenport. But even now, with NBA All-Star DeMarcus Cousins and ESPN commentator Jay Bilas coming to Davenport’s defense, the AHSAA has refused to consider granting an exception that would allow Davenport to return for her senior season.
RELATED: USA Basketball payment could cost a top HS basketball player her season
Davenport is a five-star center for Henderson who has signed to play at Rutgers. As reported here and elsewhere, Henderson was suspended for the season after she received a payment of just less than $900 for her travel with USA Basketball this summer.

What the Alabama High School Athletic Association has done to Maori Davenport is wrong on so many levels that I don't know where to start. I know what this feels like because I was treated like shit by them too. Being a kid from Alabama, I'm with Maori Davenport. Fix this now!
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) January 5, 2019

While that payment was small enough to escape NCAA punishment, it was still a violation of the AHSAA’s amateur rule. That detail escaped the focus of USA Basketball because Davenport is one of the only members of the team that still had high school eligibility.
Of course, now she doesn’t, thanks to that $857.20 check for lost wages, even though the check was returned in full to the NCAA. And despite Cousins’ support and an op-ed written by Bilas for ESPN on her behalf, the AHSAA is refusing to reconsider it’s stance.
Part of that organizational obstinance is grounded in the circumstances surrounding Davenport herself. As reported by AL.com, Davenport’s mother is a certified Alabama basketball coach, and Henderson’s head coach is a former member of the AHSAA Central Board of Control. As the Board of Control noted in a lengthy statement to the media, “she should not only appreciate the importance of knowing and following the AHSAA bylaws and eligibility rules but also understand how imperative it is to consistently uphold the same rules.”
And while public outcry continues to demand Davenport’s return, AHSAA has also noted that its bylaws prohibit Executive Director Steve Savarese from making such a move himself. Rather, the appellate process is needed to overturn any ruling, including the one Savarese had to make regarding Davenport because her payment violated the amateur clause.

Those appeals have now been exhausted, and nothing has changed.
Anyone holding out hope for a change in heart or policy from the AHSAA Central Board of Control may also feel downtrodden after reading this section from its statement to the media:

“It should be pointed out that a high school student from Illinois also received payment from USA Basketball. However, that student called her high school once she received the check and then returned the check to USA Basketball without cashing or depositing it. Here, the student received the check, endorsed it and it was posted to her bank account. Three months later, AHSAA was notified and the monies returned to USA Basketball.
“A high school student from Missouri has also been ruled ineligible for this basketball season for accepting the lost wages payment from USA Basketball.
“USA Basketball never called Charles Henderson High School or AHSAA to ask if payment for lost wages violated AHSAA rules until November which was three months after payment was made and accepted by the student. This was not a clerical error but a complete lack of administrative oversight on the part of USA Basketball, thus possibly rendering multiple student-athletes ineligible as most states have an Amateur Rule.”
One note here: USA Basketball reached out to USA Today to report that the ineligible player in Missouri mentioned above is actually being held out because of concerns about her transfer between schools, not because of accepting any payment from USA Basketball.
The moral of the story? If anyone extends a high school athlete money, they must make sure it’s allowed, regardless of the legitimacy of the organization behind it. In the short run, that means we have almost certainly seen the last of Maori Davenport’s brilliant high school career.
Davenport averaged 18.2 points, 12 rebounds and 5.1 blocks per game as a junior. With USA Basketball over summer, she started four of six games. She was also selected to the ALL-USA Preseason Girls Basketball team entering this season.

Former NBA star Kobe Bryant to help form MAMBA Sports Academy

A southern California academy for youth, amateur and elite athletes will be getting a piece of the Mamba treatment.
The Sports Academy announced a partnership with former NBA star Kobe Bryant to re-brand and form the MAMBA Sports Academy, which will provide “holistic athletic training” to athletes.
Training methods will include body, performance and mind, the press release said.
“We look forward to how Kobe’s involvement will move us forward in the areas of on-site training, digital cognitive training, content creation, investments and charitable endeavors,” CEO and founder Chad Faulkner said in a press release.

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Bryant saw the work of the academy first-hand as a girls basketball coach.
“Sports Academy has perfected the art and science of athletic training, from elite players to young kids getting started,” Bryant said in a statement. “At MAMBA Sports Academy, we will focus on offering a premium experience on proper training for young athletes, and infuse a little ‘Mamba Mentality’ into their programs.”
The operation will focus on three specific areas: physical training academies, a sports-focused venture lab and a charity foundation called the MAMBA Sports Foundation.
Currently, the Sports Academy consists of courts and fields for several different sports, a sports medicine and physical therapy practice and a cognitive training lab, among other features.
More than 50,000 athletes use the facilities.

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Sports Academy has also given back to the community, including using its space as a refuge for more than 3,500 affected families during the Woolsey fires and collecting more than $20,000 worth of donated items for firefighters and volunteers.
The re-branding with Bryant is scheduled to be complete in January 2019 as preliminary talks to open additional facilities has begun.
“His ‘Mamba Mentality’ philosophy will no doubt have a major impact on the development of the next generation of athletes,” Faulkner said.