A video out of California captured the moment an athlete launched an attack on an unsuspecting teen opponent. Perhaps worse than the assault and the physical consequences of it, though, is why the girl took the cheap shot and what spectators heard moments before the attack.
Lauryn Ham, a 15-year-old student-athlete, was at an event in Southern California when she found herself becoming the victim of a disturbing cheap shot during a basketball game. The entire ordeal was caught on camera, but perhaps more disturbing than the unprovoked attack and the physical consequences Ham suffered as a result of it was what spectators claim they heard just moments before the assault.
As seen in the footage, two girls collided on the court, one of which was Ham. All seemed fine as the two got back up, but then, out of nowhere, Ham’s opponent sucker-punches her, dropping her to the floor and leaving her concussed. Be forewarned, the footage may be difficult for some viewers to watch:
Not only was Lauryn Ham left concussed from the cheap shot, but her mother was also in shock to see her daughter being sucker-punched by one of her opponents, especially considering what was allegedly said before the girl decided to throw the devastating blow, according to a report by the NY Post.
“The person in question went down the court and shot a 3-pointer, landed, fell backward into my daughter,” Alice Ham, the victim’s mother, recalled. “As they got up and turned and were walking back down to the other side of the court, [the attacker’s] mom says to her, ‘You need to hit her for that.’ And, the child in question sucker-punched my daughter.”
You read that right. Allegedly, the other athlete’s mother instructed her child to punch the other girl, simply because the girl fell backward and landed on Lauryn Ham, leaving Alice in complete disbelief. “Of course I was in total shock,” Alice Ham told ABC7. “Just couldn’t believe that could happen to my child.”
According to the stunned mom, her daughter was disoriented when she came home after the weekend game and was still recovering from the brutal punch the following Wednesday. In fact, days after the incident, Alice said Lauryn was still feeling the effects and was unable to attend school or maintain focus.
“You always see things on video and you never think it could happen to you,” Alice said, expressing the shock she still felt over the ordeal. “To actually see it and know that was my kid just hurt me so bad[ly],” she added. According to Alice, a police report was filed since she felt the incident “rises to the level of assault, the way that she does it with such intent and brutal force.”
The family of the girl who threw the punch reportedly retained an attorney, and according to Alice Ham, the girl and her family weren’t apologetic at all. “The girl and her mom showed absolutely no remorse and offered no apology,” she wrote in a post on Instagram.
Meanwhile, the CEO of the group that hosted the event was apologizing instead. “We’re very sorry,” Gary Thomas, CEO of Avac United, told KTLA. “We want everybody to feel safe. We want everyone to feel secure,” he added. “This is an environment where kids should have fun and enjoy and be safe.”
Alice and Lauryn Ham, along with many other student-athletes and parents, would definitely agree. “There is absolutely no place for something like this in basketball,” Alice wrote, adding that the incident made her sick to her stomach. “I’m sorry but it’s everything that’s wrong with youth sports,” she concluded as she declared, “Youth sports needs to change.” Is she wrong? You decide.