Former NBA player Corey Benjamin apologized after a viral video showed his daughter punching a 15-year-old girl in the face during a youth basketball game in Garden Grove this weekend.
“As a father, I am shocked and disappointed with my daughter’s behavior because it does not reflect my family’s values and standards. Nor does it exemplify the values, character and sportsmanship required by basketball, ”Benjamin said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.
The incident took place on Sunday at an event hosted by Avac United, which hosts games for young people between the ages of 13 and 16 in Southern California. Video captured the moment Benjamin’s daughter knocked down the opposing team’s 15-year-old Lauryn Ham to the ground during the game.
“To the young woman who was punched by my daughter during a youth basketball game, I offer my sincere apologies and pray for your complete recovery both physically and emotionally,” said Benjamin said in the press release. “To her family, I deeply apologize and regret that this happened to your daughter as she did not deserve to have this happen to her. Finally, I apologize to all those who have been touched and hurt by the actions of my daughter as well as those of her mother. “
Benjamin, who played for the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, added that he was “determined to get my daughter all the help she could need and to help her take responsibility for her conduct.”
The victim’s mother, Alice Ham, told KTLA she knew something was wrong when her daughter returned home disoriented after the game. It was then that she saw the video.
“The person in question came down on the field and fired a three-point shot, landed, fell back on my daughter,” Ham said. “As they got up, turned around and walked back down to the other side of the field, her mother said to her, ‘You have to hit her for that.’ And the child in question punched my daughter.
Ham said she was disgusted and outraged that a mother asked her child to hit another person.
“For me that rises to the level of aggression, the way she does it with such intent and brutal force,” Ham said, adding that his daughter was not consistent after the coup.
The family filed a police report.
Avac United CEO Gary Thomas told KTLA the organization will cooperate if there is an investigation and that it has banned the girl who hit Ham’s daughter and her mother, until further notice .
“We’re so sorry… we want everyone to feel safe. We want everyone to feel safe, ”said Thomas. “It’s an environment where children have to have fun, have fun and be safe. “
Ham says she hopes her daughter will recover from the incident soon.
“I hope she won’t be afraid to play again,” the mother said. “I want people to see that it’s not OK. It is not good for parents to be verbally abusive, to incite violence. “
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