12 Year Old Basketball Phenom Banned From the "Boys Team"
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Jamie Nared, a 12-year-old girl who is six feet tall and an extremely talented basketball player, has been playing on a mixed-sex team since the second gradeâ€”but has suddenly been banned from playing with boys after parents complained. Her coach, Michael Abraham, and her parents (and, frankly, video of her game) suggest that the complaints arose because Jamie is so good and makes the boys on opposing teams look bad.
Jaime's mom, Reiko Williams, said the issue boiled over after a particular game. "She scored 30 points," Williams said. "I remember one play. She stole the ball, dribbled up court and made a behind-the-back pass to a teammate. He missed the lay-in, and she grabbed the rebound and put it in. I think it was just too much for some of those parents."
Abraham put Jaime on the boys team to match her skills and keep her with peers. He has had her play on high-school girls teams, but many travel and "her parents want her to be around kids her own age," Abraham said.
And when she played on same-age girls teams?
"We beat one team 90-7," Abraham said. "At her level, it's like having Shaq on a high-school team."
He said the boys on his team enjoyed playing with Jaime â€” among a handful of girls to play on his boys teams over the years â€” because she helped them improve.
"If she were 4-feet-9 and no good, we wouldn't be having this discussion," Abraham said.
"I can't think of one boy that we've played against that's had a problem with her," he added. "Maybe their dads do."
Oh, snap! But of course the parents, opposing coaches, and league who enforced the rule deny that her talent has anything to do with the decision.