Tuesday, 15 July 2008
01:15:49 PM (GMT)
You play ball like a girl.
That used to be an insult. In Beaverton, Oregon, it's becoming more like a fantasy.
Jaime Nared, a 12-year-old girl who stands 6-foot-1, has been told she can no longer
play on the boys team of which she has been a member since the second grade,
according to a report on the Web site of The Oregonian. Curiously, the timing of her
ban came in the wake of a 30-point effort against an all-boys team.
"She scored 30 points," Jaime's mom, Reiko Williams, told The Oregonian. "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.
"The next day, she came home and said they wouldn't let her play with the boys
Last month, a group of parents from an opposing team told management at The Hoop, a
private Beaverton basketball facility that runs the league in which Nared's team
competes, that they didn't like Nared playing against their sons. Hoop officials
then told Nared's coach, Michael Abraham, that she could no longer play, citing a
league rule that prohibits mixed-gender teams, the newspaper reported.
"I never saw the rule," said Abraham, who has coached basketball for 32 years.
"If I'd known about it, I wouldn't have put any of my teams in the league. Besides,
she's been playing on this team since second grade, and she plays on our team when
we travel around the region. There's never been any problem in any event, not one
word of complaint."
Neal Franzer, The Hoop's director of operations, told the paper that parents were
"adamant" their complaints had nothing to do with Jaime's skills.
"They said the problem was the boys were playing differently against her because she
was a girl," Franzer said, according to the paper. "They'd been taught to not push a
girl, so they weren't fouling her hard, and the focus had shifted from playing
basketball to noticing a girl was on the floor with them.
"The rule may not have been enforced in past years," Franzer said. "We have new
management this year. It's policy, and we enforce policy."
Nared, however, had a different take.
"I think the boys on a specific team don't like me," she said. "It doesn't seem
Abraham was also skeptical about the ruling.
"I can't think of one boy that we've played against that's had a problem with her,"
he said. "Maybe their dads do. Teach the boys how to handle her. Front her, deny her
the ball. You sure as hell don't complain. Listen, she's a girl's girl, but she
tough. She's no cupcake. She gets knocked down and takes a charge."