21 Jump(shot) Street: Virginia basketball coach suits up, impersonates 13-year-old JV player

21 Jump(shot) Street: Virginia basketball coach suits up, impersonates 13-year-old JV player

Adult sensibilities don’t belong in youth sports. Grown people take sports way too seriously. Countless times overzealous parents, coaches, and spectators have tainted the purity of amateur sports. An assistant coach on the staff of the junior varsity basketball team in Portsmouth, Virginia recently attempted to pull off a dumb 21 Jump Street con. The original 21 Jump Street lasted five seasons. Churchville’s version lasted all of one day. Left wondering how to reconfigure the allocation of minutes after a 13-year-old hooper for the Churchland H.S. Truckers junior varsity basketball team skipped a matchup against Nasemond River to attend an out-of-town basketball tournament for her club team, assistant coach Arlisha Boykins saw it as her opportunity to become the first player-coach in high school basketball.


According to WAVY-TV, Boykins stepped in for the game against girls aged 13-15 by representing herself as the absent teenage girl. However, the girls player who was impersonated was aware of Boykins’ stunt and plans to transfer to another school.

Video of the game shows Boykins doggin’ out her pre-teen opponents, exhibiting an advanced skill set against whippersnappers, swatting their shots into oblivion, draining stepbacks in their grills, snagging boards, and building her highlight reel. On the George Santos Fabulists Scale, an assistant coach impersonating a JV player just to serve ‘em on the floor is about a seven on a scale of one through 10 in terms of bizarreness.

What was the point?

There’s an extensive, sordid history of adults who can’t let go of their hoop dreams, returning to high school so they can compete against teenagers, but most of their plots are a little more sophisticated. What was the endgame? Win the JV title she never won as an underclassman?

There was no need to run a sting operation to catch Boykins in the act. Not only was Boykins an assistant coach, but this was the JV team! She couldn’t even make varsity in her 20s. Did a 23-year-old woman pretending to be a high school freshman really think parents or employees of the school wouldn’t notice or that if her harebrained scheme worked out that players wouldn’t gossip? If this were an episode of 21 Jump Street, it would have been over in half an hour.

“Coaches always preach to the kids about integrity and those types of things, so I was just shocked,” the father of the 13-year-old said.

This absurd development wouldn’t have even been possible without the explicit approval of Churchville’s head coach. What other life lessons were these coaches imparting to their young players? How to get away with identity fraud?

The unanswered questions left here are endless. One thing we do know is Churchville quickly cleaned house. The junior varsity coach who approved of Boykins’ deception and the varsity head coach who allegedly “encouraged [Boykins’] behavior” were both dismissed by the school. Boykins’ bizarre move should be the end of her coaching career before it ever really began, but there are worse figures who’ve returned from exile. Unfortunately for the girls who were coerced into participating in Boykins’ scheme, their season was also canceled posthaste amid the scandal.

In the end, it’s the kids who are typically harmed by the sins of the purportedly responsible adults. 

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.