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BY Francis Akhalbey, 9:00am February 01, 2023,

Parents demand apology after high school coach impersonates 13-year-old player during game

Arlisha Boykins, 22, impersonated a 13-year-old student-athlete during a basketball game -- Image via WAVY

The family of a 13-year-old high school basketball player is demanding an apology after the teen athlete’s 22-year-old coach reportedly impersonated her during a game. According to WAVY, former Churchland Junior Varsity girls basketball team assistant coach Arlisha Boykins is said to have impersonated the teen during a January 21 match against Nansemond River.

The teen Boykins impersonated was said to be out of town for a basketball tournament when her team was playing against Nansemond River. Boykins has since been fired. In the video of the match, Boykins is seen wearing the number 1 jersey and partaking in the game. The footage also shows Boykins attacking the rim, making a block, and attempting free throws. The girl’s parents said the former coach identified herself as their daughter during the match. 

And though Churchland reportedly won the match 47-45, the win was later recorded as a loss by forfeit. In the aftermath of the incident, the players on the team as well as parents decided to forfeit the rest of the season. 

“Coaches always preach to the kids about integrity and those types of things, so I was just shocked,” the teen’s father said. “I just need an apology, you know, because I haven’t yet received one from the overseer of the program.”

The teen’s family also said she has since opted to attend a different school. In a statement to PEOPLE, Portsmouth Public Schools said Boykins as well as the junior varsity head coach are no longer employees of the school district. 

“Churchland’s administration immediately investigated and then reached out to the Virginia High School League to report the investigation’s findings,” said Portsmouth Public Schools. “In addition, Churchland’s administration held a parent and player meeting with both the junior varsity and varsity teams. In the meeting, the players from both teams expressed they did not want to continue this season. The teams’ remaining opponents and officials have been notified.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 1, 2023


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