Reports regarding an incident involving a recent cancellation of a senior girls basketball game between KIPP Delta Collegiate High School and Nemo Vista have been making the rounds on Twitter and Face Book. KIPP Coach Luke Hammond wants to set the record straight.
According to Hammond, during the junior high boys contest between KIPP and Nemo Vista, members of KIPP's junior girls' basketball team began chanting “miss it” while a Nemo Vista player was shooting a free throw.
“This action (although the norm in most gymnasiums across the country) is NOT something that we want our students saying during games,” stated Hammond. “Everything should be framed positively, or toward our team.”
However, Hammond reported that the chanting incident alone and of itself was not what led to the cancellation of the girls' contest.
“When a teacher asked the girls to stop the chants, a few of the girls did not comply and became disrespectful,” continued Hammond. “At this point, we felt that our girls did not deserve to represent KIPP, so in turn the game was cancelled. Our student athletes must at all times be respectful and courteous to others, especially those in authority.”
Hammond stressed that at KIPP character and values are at the core of what is being taught.
“This being said,” added Hammond, “we hold our student athletes to an even higher standard both in their character and in their academics. It is imperative our young men and women realize that in their lives they will not be remembered only for their achievements but their character. How they carry themselves and treat others will directly affect their path of success.”
Hammond commented that this incident should never happen again. He added that many lessons were learned from it and he believes the athletic department and the school will be stronger because of it.
“Our sincerest apologies go out to Nemo Vista's team, coaching staff, parents and administration for the cancellation of the game,” concluded Hammond.
Hammond added that the incident was reported to the Arkansas Activities Association and KIPP is reimbursing Nemo Vista monetarily for travel expenses.