Basketball Team Is Disqualified From Tournament For Having Girls On The Team

It becomes hard to teach girls things aren't "separate but equal" when it comes to participating with their male peers. As much as we love to push the concept of girl power, actions like a youth basketball team getting disqualified for having girls on the team isn't something we can consider progress.


Kymora Johnson is a 10-year-old girl who practically grew up playing basketball with the Charlottesville Cavaliers. The Myrtle Beach resident was looking forward to competing at the National Travel Basketball Association Championship Tournament, but received word her team wouldn't be able to play because they allowed a girl to participate.

"If she can compete with these boys, as she's done since she was 5 years old, and drop threes and break ankles, then who are you to tell her she can't play with them," questions Jessica Thomas-Johnson, Kymora's mother, to WBKO News.

Now you might be thinking why this is a big deal considering boys and girls have their own teams. Kymora's mother points out her daughter has been on the Charlottesville Cavaliers since she was in kindergarten because there's no travel option for young girls her age.

Apparently the 10-year-old star has played in the last three National Travel Basketball Association Championship Tournaments without incident, and that has many wondering why officials are changing their tune about reportedly allowing each team to have a girl on the roster. The other girl on the Cavaliers who did not want to play would've allowed Kymora the chance.

What's interesting to note is the disqualification came after a team that lost to the Cavaliers complained about Kymora playing (smells like sour grapes to me). Coach Joe Mallory was surprised by the NTBA's move as he claims they had no issue having a female player. "He [Joe Mallory] said you are eligible to play, you're good, you're fine," recalls Kymora.

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The NTBA is standing by their decision and claim they never allowed girls to play.

Perhaps Kymora, her mother, and the entire team were confused. Maybe the 10-year-old never played in tournaments with her male peers for the past three years (insert sarcasm). That is some serious oversight. Even if they no longer want a coed team -- or never allowed it in the first place as they claim -- they should've at least let the Cavs play given they made it to the semi-finals.

I understand ladies and gents can't always play together, at least not in the world of sports. Yes, Kymora will need to join an all-women's team later on in life, but what does this wishy-washy message teach the young girl? It's OK to play with boys so long as they don't lose to you?


Image via WBKO News

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