High school basketball coach posed as player in game, school system says

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 3:47 AM EST
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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WTKR) - A Virginia high school’s girls basketball season ended early after one of their coaches was caught pretending to be a member of the junior varsity team, the school system says.

Portsmouth Public Schools says Arlisha Boykins, an assistant basketball coach at Churchland High School, posed as a player on the girls junior varsity team and played in a Jan. 21 game against Nansemond River High School.

Churchland wound up forfeiting the game. The school system was notified of the incident the week after it happened, and they say both Boykins and the head coach of the junior varsity team are no longer employees of the school division.

Billy Haun, the executive director of the Virginia High School Sports League, says he is disappointed by the actions of the adults involved.

“When an adult commits to being a high school coach, it’s not just about coaching the game. They take on a lot of responsibility. Adults who fail to live up to those expectations, I’ll just put it bluntly, they fail students,” Haun said.

After the incident was reported to Churchland school leaders, the administration met with players on both the girls junior varsity and varsity teams and their parents. Both teams decided to cancel the rest of their seasons.

“We failed kids because we got a group of young ladies who now will not be able to finish their season because of the behavior of some adults,” Haun said.

Haun says this is the second time he’s heard of something like this happening in Virginia.