A southern California mother who shouted from the stands last year for her daughter to hit her youth basketball game opponent was ordered this week to pay more than $9,000 in restitution, undergo anger management, and write apology letters, NBC News reported.
What’s the background?
Latira Shonty Hunt, 44, of La Puente, was charged in December with one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one misdemeanor count of battery, the network said, citing a statement from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
During a Nov. 7 tournament game between the SoCal Blaze and Dream Academy, Hunt’s daughter took a shot and fell backward and into the victim, who also fell to the court, after which they both got up and began walking to the other end of the court.
Prosecutors said Hunt yelled to her daughter “you better hit her,” NBC News said.
It appears those words can be heard in the video of the incident, during which Hunt’s daughter blindsides the victim, hitting her apparently in the head and knocking her to the court:
A mother has been charged for allegedly yelling instructions to her daughter to attack another player at a basketball game. pic.twitter.com/WuszFfWAdi
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) December 11, 2021
KNBC-TV reported that the victim suffered a concussion.
Judge weighs in
A county superior court judge on Wednesday granted Hunt misdemeanor diversion in exchange for completing a series of requirements over the next two years, including writing an apology to the victim, her parents, and both basketball teams, NBC News said, citing prosecutors.
Hunt also was also ordered to pay more than $9,000 in restitution and complete anger management classes before she can attend basketball games again, the network reported, citing prosecutors. Hunt also was ordered to stay away from the victim, NBC News added, citing the district attorney’s office.
The network said Hunt on Thursday couldn’t be immediately reached for comment and added that it’s not clear if an attorney was representing her.
Contrite words from attacker’s father — a former NBA player
The father of the player who attacked the unsuspecting girl is former NBA player Corey Benjamin – and he issued an apology following the incident, which NewsNation said the Associated Press obtained.
“As a father, I’m shocked and disappointed at my daughter’s behavior as this is not a reflection of the values and standards that my family holds,” Benjamin said, according to the AP. “Nor does it exemplify the values, character and spirit of sportsmanship that the game of basketball requires.”
He added: “To the young lady who was punched by my daughter during a youth basketball game, I sincerely apologize to you, and I am praying for your complete healing both physically and emotionally. To her family, I deeply apologize and regret that this happened to your daughter as she did not deserve this to happen to her. Finally, I apologize to all of those who have been impacted and hurt by the actions of my daughter as well as those of her mother.”