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New Jersey Family Sues To Let Daughter Play On Boys' Basketball Team

KENILWORTH, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The family of a 12-year-old girl who wants to play for her school's boys' basketball team has sued the Archdiocese of Newark.

Sydney Phillips played for the girls' team at St. Theresa's School in Kenilworth last year, and was voted an all-star player. But the school dropped the girls' team this year because there wasn't enough interest.

Her father, Scott, said they went to the school for options and ultimately requested she play on the boys' team, but the school said "no way."

Scott Phillips said he was told, "Girls play with girls, boys play with boys."

But Sydney thinks the boys are afraid she will show them up.

"I beat them in recess in gym all the time and they start crying for no reason," she said.

The family says that the archdiocese does not have a specific rule prohibiting girls from playing on the boys' team. The school said in a legal response that her application was filed late. Scott Phillips disputes that.

"I tried going through all the proper steps all the way up the ladder and got nowhere, so unfortunately I had to take it to the next step, which is the legal system," he said, adding that he doesn't want any money from the lawsuit."We just want to play basketball."

A spokesman for the archdiocese and the school declined to comment on the lawsuit.

A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 5.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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