First, I want to mention that my sincerest apologies were expressed to the Ham family on behalf of our Academy the day Lauryn was injured. I have been in touch with them via their Coach since then to organize a needed sit down for the two young girls involved in this unfortunate situation. It is my belief from speaking with Lauryn’s Coach that all involved believe measured consequences in relation to what transpired are in order.
Second, I want to assure the public that our Academy takes these matters very seriously, and DOES NOT CONDONE this type of behavior. EVER. The player has been suspended indefinitely; but more importantly we are helping [the player] and her mother enter into counseling & anger management as well as service to community work. They couldn’t be more remorseful for their part in this regrettable turn of events.READ MORE: Chanukah Celebrations Stress Message Of "Light Over Darkness" In Trying Times
Third, I want to assure everyone that this is NOT and has NEVER been behavior that was encouraged in the past. A second video is circulating from September with no context and zero connection to what transpired last Sunday in Garden Grove. The September clip was the result of players cheapshotting [her] throughout the game and referees-in-training not equipped with the experience needed to control the game at this particular event…which leads me to my last point.READ MORE: Man Shot, Killed On North Hollywood Street
These two girls were playing a game they love…basketball, it’s an intense, physical game. Often times emotions – seen and unseen – are part of these games. Especially with youth sports. [The player], already hurting, made a mistake during an emotionally taxing moment in Sunday’s game…and her mother made a mistake she wishes she could take back as well. Do we really want to ruin a 13 year-old’s (now 14 year-old’s) future over this mistake?
Just a few days ago the MVP of the NBA, a player in a league that is SUPPOSED to represent the best our world has to offer, cheapshotted and injured another player in-game causing his ejection and heavy fines. And there was another incident only a few months ago in the 2021 playoffs where this same player lost control of his emotions in an altercation, causing his ejection and fines. This is an ADULT athlete that is SUPPOSED to be in control of his emotions, but he was not…TWICE! Is the court of public opinion calling to have someone press charges against him? Are we trying to end his career?? No, of course not. Are we calling it a racially-inspired assault?? Obviously not! That would make zero sense in these cases. Just as it makes zero sense in this matter with these two young girls.MORE NEWS: Undisclosed Forensic Evidence Found In Search For Heidi Planck
I ask the public again…please let these two girls with bright futures— as well as their families — have their space. Allow them to come together in peace and use this challenging event as a teaching and healing opportunity. An instance where their spirituality, faith and love can shine through in helping them both put this matter in the rear view. They need to be able to do that.