Kentucky prep basketball coach sued by former players

Two former Kentucky prep basketball players are suing their coach and the high school, alleging mistreatment and bullying while participating on the team.

BasketballHoopA lawsuit was filed against Muhlenberg County High School and girl’s basketball coach Mike Harper. The two players graduated following the 2015-16 school year, and they claim their team’s three seniors quit the team early due to constant abuse from their coach.

At least one other former Muhlenberg County High School girls basketball player has come to Harper’s defense. Amiea Summers, who graduated in 2013, told WBKO she was never mistreated by her former coach and she never witnessed negative behavior toward anyone else.

“If he did yell at me, it was more ‘because I know you can do better’ type thing,” she told WBKO. “It wasn’t like ‘you’re awful’ or anything like that.”

From the article:

The worst allegations in the lawsuit were players feeling they had to play through injuries. At her attorney, Steven Dowell’s office in Owensboro, Sampson detailed two instances of her playing through pain.

“Sophomore year I began having unbearable leg pain and I had informed my coach about this and he instructed me to continue to play- that it was just shin splints and I was later diagnosed with a stress fracture and torn fascia tissue which required surgery,” Sampson said. “I went to save a ball, going from out of bounds and I got tripped and I hit my head very aggressively on the floor and I blacked out for a moment and honestly I don’t remember playing the rest of the game but I was put back in just minutes after I hit.”

She said she feels like she missed out on her senior year because of this.

“I had played basketball my whole life and had built a basketball career and my senior year, as well as the other two seniors, that’s something you look forward to- that’s your ending point and you look forward to the senior nights and everything like that. And it definitely knocked out a- it knocked out opportunities and the chance to finish up a game we loved.”

WBKO reports that the players are seeking money, in part for injuries and medical care. One player wants the coach disciplined and for the board of education to institute bullying and injury protocols for coaches.

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