Teenager Banned From Multiple Girls Basketball Tournaments Following Incidents Of On-Court Violence
GARDEN GROVE (CBSLA) - New reports indicate that a teenager involved in a violent incident during a girl's basketball tournament last week has committed a similar offense on at least one other occasion.
The girl, who cannot be named as she is a minor, can be seen charging and hitting players on opposing teams in multiple videos from different basketball tournaments. She plays for the Dream Academy, a Los Angeles-based basketball training organization.
The initial incident, now reported to have occurred at a basketball tournament in Carson in September, shows the same teen attacking two different girls on the opposing team, charging them with arms flailing while simultaneously throwing punches.
Alice Ham, mother of the victim in the second incident, which occurred on Nov. 7, told CBSLA Reporter Laurie Perez that parents who were at the game heard the mother of the girl who threw the punch yell, "go and hit her."
A police report has been filed, both against the girl and her mother, who reportedly incited the incident.
Ham issued a follow-up statement when she was forwarded video of the prior occurrence,
"She should not have been playing basketball that day she was playing against my daughter. If this was already known and she's throwing fists in games... she should've been banned and removed from the team already. There is no reason for my daughter to get hurt that day."
Her daughter, Lauryn, suffered a concussion and a contusion to her neck from the sucker punch thrown by the unnamed teenager.
Ham believes that the girl should never be allowed to play basketball again.
Kevin Hahn, attorney for the Ham family, addressed the fighting words that were heard by both the referee of the game and witnesses, "You can hear clearly, and this is backed up by eyewitness testimony, her mother instruct the player to go hit her for that. And so, upon that instruction you see the player go and sucker punch my client, the victim."
The mother can also allegedly be heard in the Nov. 7 video.
Since these incidents have been brought to light, the teenager has been banned by tournaments hosted by at least two separate clubs. One of those clubs, Swoosh Basketball, has announced that the girl, her mother and Dream Academy have all been banned from future play.
Neither the attacker, nor the mother has approached the Ham family in regards to an apology.
It is now known that the girl is the daughter of former NBA player Corey Benjamin. Benjamin made the announcement himself, issuing a statement to the Ham family:
"To the young lady who was punched, I sincerely apologize, and I am praying for your complete healing both physically and emotionally. ... To her family, I deeply apologize and regret that this has happened to your daughter as she did not deserve this to happen to her. ... As a father I'm shocked and disappointed at my daughter's behavior, as this is not a reflection of the values and standards that my family holds, nor does it exemplify the values, character and spirit of sportsmanship that the game of basketball requires. My daughter made a mistake. One that she will need to make right. ... I am committed to getting my daughter any help she may need and support her in taking accountability for her conduct."
Benjamin, who played in the NBA from 1998-2001 and in 2003, was the 28th overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. He played for both the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks.
He has been arrested on domestic violence charges on two separate occasions, in 2000 and 2016.
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