The coach of a girls basketball team from Texas said a description of a brawl involving his summer league team at a south Fulton County high school is “totally false.”
In an interview Thursday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chelton Skillern said the concussion a Cobb County girl suffered Sunday at Langston Hughes High School was the fault of the home crowd, not his team.
“The crowd pushed her over,” he said. “It was their crowd. That’s what caused her to hit her head.”
The brawl allegedly erupted Sunday when Jamiah Gregory, 13, was fouled hard, Fulton County Schools said in a statement.
According to Channel 2 Action News, Gregory’s leg was grabbed by an opponent during the fourth quarter, and adults came out of the stands. Parents told the news station that 40 to 50 people were involved.
“This girl just comes and grabs my player by the neck and throws her down,” Chris Henderson, Gregory’s coach, told the news station.
Skillern said there’s more to the story.
Gregory, he said, was given a technical foul for aggressive play, and two plays later “threw my player to the ground.”
That’s when “my player retaliated,” Skillern said.
A parent came onto the court at that point and that’s when the situation broke loose, according to the coach.
Gregory was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston for treatment and released.
“I pray,” Skillern said, “that this young lady has a speedy recovery.”
He said he tried to de-escalate the situation, and suffered a concussion and will need surgery for injuries to his right shoulder and elbow.
“The story they are telling is totally false,” he said. “We have video and documentation.”
The event organizer, D1Spects, told Channel 2 it had two security guards at the game.
Skillern said there was only one security person, someone who was not licensed to be security.
The coach said he gave statements about the incident to Fulton County schools police, as well as other agencies.
An investigation is ongoing. So far, there have been no arrests.
As for a possible response by his team, he said, “We are in a hold mode.”
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