GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An East Kentwood girl’s basketball player accused of attacking an opponent is expected to be disciplined by her school.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday for a report of an assault between a member of the East Kentwood High School and Grand Haven High School girls basketball teams.
Deputies say a Grand Haven player was punched multiple times and was hit in the face. There were also reports of disorderly spectators. No one was seriously injured.
An East Kentwood player and coach were ejected from the game.
The sheriff’s office said deputies worked with school staff to calm down the situation and stayed at the scene for the remainder of the game and as people left.
The sheriff’s office told News 8 that the victim did not want to pursue criminal charges and that discipline would be handled by East Kentwood.
“We’ve been in contact with both school districts throughout the day. We have had follow-up contact with the victim from Grand Haven High School and her family and they’ve decided going forward they don’t request any further criminal investigation of this incident, so at this point we’ll be turning any further investigation over to the schools or the conference,” Capt. Jake Sparks said.
In a Wednesday release, Kentwood Public Schools said it has been in communication with Grand Haven Area Public Schools and was cooperating with deputies.
“East Kentwood High School’s Athletic Department is committed to high expectations for behavior of student athletes and coaches both in and out of athletic competitions. Educational athletics are an extension of the classroom and serve as an opportunity for all aspects of growth and development for our student athletes,” Blaine Brumels, co-athletic director for East Kentwood High School, said in a statement.
“We are concerned with the events that unfolded in this game and with the wellbeing of all involved,” Brumels added. “We will follow established district guidelines throughout this process.”
Scott Grimes, the superintendent of Grand Haven Area Public Schools, thanked the sheriff’s office in a statement for its “quick actions.”
“Safety and security, whether during school or at afterschool events, is a collaborative effort between GHAPS and law enforcement – and we couldn’t have asked for better support,” he said in the statement.
“Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students, especially our player who was injured,” Grimes also said. “This unfortunate and frightening incident has no place in interscholastic athletics. We are proud of our team, coaches and athletic administration, who maintained their composure and helped deescalate the situation.”
Grand Haven High School athletic director Scott Robertson praised the Grand Haven basketball players for their sportsmanship.
“We expect our athletes to hold themselves to the highest standards, especially in the heat of competition,” Robertson said in a statement. “Last night, our girls’ basketball team experienced very serious unsportsmanlike conduct. I’m proud of their sportsmanship and self-discipline.”
The Michigan High School Athletic Association said in a statement that it was “collecting information” about what happened. It said its rules meant that the East Kentwood player would also not be allowed to play in her next game.
“We are still collecting information regarding the incident at Grand Haven on Tuesday, January 17. MHSAA rules dictate that any player ejected from a game is suspended for the next day of competition. Schools can add additional penalties for their student-athletes. Any further questions should be sent to the school.”MHSAA
—News 8’s Kyle Mitchell and Madalyn Buursma contributed to this report.