It was a basketball tournament that became a total turnover. Rochester students from Shoot For Change Athletics were playing against the Erie Elite in Pennsylvania on Saturday when chaos erupted between the two teams, and parents.
According to some watching the game in Millcreek, Pennsylvania, referees let too much jawing slide on the court. The verbal fight turned physical after the game. Tony Scott, coach of the Rochester-based team says he and others had to pull adults off of children.
“We were defending ourselves. And it’s just really unfortunate. It’s something I don’t ever care to be a part of again,” says Scott.
Scott says the video footage does not fully show what transpired. He says one of his athletes was out in the foyer when he was verbally assaulted by an opposing player’s mother.
“He took his hand in a hand gesture to move her out of his personal space, at which time the husband or boyfriend of this woman assaulted, physically assaulted the kid. A grown man punched the kid right in the mouth,” adds Scott.
Tammki Piotter’s grandson plays for the Erie team. She says some of the Rochester teens played a role in all this, and it was allowed to go on too long. “It’s just sad because the parents weren’t trying to stop it,” says Piotter.
She adds that she hopes this incident can be used as a learning opportunity for both the parents and the players. “Just because of a game? It’s just sad.”
Three of those players on the Rochester team do go to East High, although this game was not sanctioned by that school. The superintendent of East High did release a statement and says quote, “behavior like this is not an acceptable way to resolve a conflict.”
Millcreek police are investigating the incident and exploring possible charges.