Virginia basketball coach fired for impersonating 13-year-old in game

<span>Photograph: Chris Young/AP</span>
Photograph: Chris Young/AP

A 22-year-old Virginia basketball coach has been fired after being accused of attempting to pass herself off as one of her 13-year-old players during a game.

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According to Norfolk’s WAVY TV 10, when one of the members of the Churchland junior varsity girls basketball team in Portsmouth was out of town earlier this month, Arlisha Boykins stepped in and impersonated the absent player in their game against Nansemond River.

“Coaches always preach to the kids about integrity and those types of things, so I was just shocked,” the father of the 13-year-old who had been impersonated by Boykins said. “I just need an apology … because I haven’t yet received one from the overseer of the program.”

Boykins, who was an assistant coach on the team, is no longer an employee of Portsmouth Public Schools, according to WAVY TV, who were first tipped off about the story by one of the player’s parents. The network added two other employees have been dismissed, including the head coach of the varsity team who had allegedly been “encouraging [Boykins’] behavior” during the game.

Footage from the game shows Boykins driving to the basket and blocking opponents’ shots. She appears to be taller than the majority of players on court.

Members of the Churchland team and their parents have decided to end their season early since the incident became public.