6-foot Oregon girl told she can't play basketball with boys


A 6-foot-1 basketball player has been told she can no longer play in her league because she's a girl.

Twelve-year-old Jaime Nared has been playing with boys teams at The Hoop, a private basketball facility, since second grade.

But recently Hoop officials notified Jaime that she wasn't allowed to play with the boys anymore, citing a rule that prohibits mixed-gender teams. Coaches sign a document that includes the rule when joining the league.

"I never saw the rule," said Michael Abraham, Jaime's coach. "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."

Hoop officials enforced the rule after receiving complaints from some players' parents.

But Neal Franzer, the facility's director of operations, said the conflict did not have anything to do with Nared's skills.

"They said the problem was the boys were playing differently against her because she was a girl," he said. "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."

Abraham and Jaime's mother think otherwise.

"I think the complaints come from parents who don't like seeing a girl that good playing against their sons," Abraham told The Oregonian newspaper.

Jaime's mother, Reiko Williams, pointed to a recent game.

"She scored 30 points," Williams said. "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 anymore."

Abraham said when Jaime was on a team with girls her age, they beat another team 90-7. She has also tried to play with older teams, but "how much does she have in common with 18-year-old girls?" Abraham said.

Plus, Abraham has had a handful of girls play on his boy's teams through the years. Nared, he says, has been singled out because she's so talented.

"If she were 4-feet-9 and no good, we wouldn't be having this discussion," Abraham said. "To appease a small minority of parents, in this day and age, is stupid. This is a decision that really targets her. She's a well-adjusted kid who happens to be great."

Information from: The Oregonian, http:www.oregonlive.com

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