Basketball team wins fight to play in tournament

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Friday a group of kids used to playing on the basketball court were in a different court.

The West Side 5th Grade Girls Basketball team from Charleston, WV asked for a preliminary injunction that would allow them to play in a tournament this weekend.

The Kanawha Valley Youth Girls Basketball League determined the team was ineligible for the tournament saying if two team members who aren’t from the West Side played on the team it was a violation of the tournament rules. The two girls in question had played with the team all season.

The league said they were just following the league rules and determined based on those rules that the West Side team was ineligible.

“We are just kids and we love to play basketball,” said team member Rayana Breckenridge. “They should just let us play and let us have fun like we’ve been working hard all season.”

Matt Nelson is a member of the Kanawha Valley Youth Girls Basketball League and said the league didn’t do anything wrong.

“The league should be entitled to make reasonable interpretations of its own rules and have those respected by this court when it does it in a fair non arbitary way,” Nelson said.

Judge Jennifer Bailey ultimately granted the injunction and ordered that the team be able to participate in the tournament.

“I certainly believe that the public interest is served by allowing children to compete in a tournament, who have played in a regular season all last year and this year without any problem and then are told at this late time in the process that they cannot play for what I see is a very arbitrary reason,” Bailey said.

Their coach said he hopes this effort teaches the team to never give up.

“I feel good about it. I’m glad that we are still a team and that we get to play,” said team member Eden Niewierowski. 

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