Report: Violence erupts at hoops tourney

Report: Violence erupts at hoops tourney

Published May. 31, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Players attacked parents and each other when a Memorial Day youth basketball tournament erupted in violence that left one player hospitalized and another arrested on assault charges.

Police were called to San Diego's Mira Mesa High on Monday when teams from Southern California's San Fernando Valley began brawling at the end of their game, according to NBC San Diego. The tournament featured varsity, JV and traveling teams.

The semifinal game between the Rising Stars of San Fernando Valley and the Granada Hills Eagles had been so rough that referees ended it a minute early. Parents and spectators exchanged words and taunted players on the court, according to officers, then things got violent when a coach confronted parents who allegedly used a racial slur. A fight broke out involving at least 15 people.

"Within about 20 seconds, almost the entire Eagles team ran over to the stands and started attacking one of the Rising Stars parents," witness Stuart Schneider told NBC San Diego.


One player suffered a broken nose after he allegedly was punched by an Eagles player, who was arrested. The injured player has been hospitalized but should be OK, while the Eagles player has been released from custody, tournament director Rich Goldberg said.

"He should be held and charged," Goldberg said. "I don't know why he was released. He should be punished. There should be some consequence for this."

Goldberg called the Eagles players "future criminals" and said they and their coach would be banned from the tournament for life.

"I've never seen players go and attack parents of the other team,” Goldberg said.