Mother of basketball player who told her daughter to punch her opponent has been ordered to pay $9,000 and apologize


A California woman who screamed from the stands for her daughter to hit an opponent last year at a basketball game in an attack widely seen on social media, was ordered to write an apology and pay on Wednesday more than $9,000 in restitution, prosecutors said. .

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 assault and battery, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office. of Orange County.

The “unprovoked attack” occurred at a youth basketball game that Hunt’s daughter was playing Nov. 7 at the MAPS Sports Center in Garden Grove, prosecutors said.

Hunt yelled “you better hit her for that” at his daughter after he had an interaction with a rival player on the field. Seconds later, the rival player fell on the pitch,” prosecutors said.

Latira Shonty Hunt was in the stands for a game at Garden Grove on Nov. 7, 2021. After her daughter had an on-court interaction with an opposing player, Hunt reportedly yelled, “You better hit her for that.”through KNBC

A county superior court judge on Wednesday granted Hunt a diversion in exchange for fulfilling a series of demands over the next two years, including drafting a written apology to the victim, her parents and to both basketball teams, prosecutors said.

She was also ordered to pay more than $9,000 in restitution and take anger management classes before she could attend basketball games again, prosecutors said. Hunt was also ordered to stay away from the victim, according to the district attorney’s office.

Hunt could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. It was unclear whether she was represented by a lawyer.

Last year’s match was between SoCal Blaze and Dream Academy. In a video of the incident that has gone viral, a 14-year-old Dream Academy player can be seen missing a 3-point shot, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Immediately after, the Dream Academy player can be seen falling to the ground. A player next to her – identified to NBC Los Angeles by her mother, Alice Ham, as 15-year-old Lauryn Ham – also falls.

After getting up, the Dream Academy player can be seen rushing towards Lauryn and punching her in the head. She immediately collapses to the ground.

Lauryn was diagnosed with a concussion after the game, Alice Ham told NBC Los Angeles.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the statement that Hunt was responsible for the teenager’s injuries.

“Youth sports play a crucial role in the development of discipline, teamwork and fair play. A grown adult ordering a child to use violence against another child on the basketball court is wrong,” Spitzer said. “By ordering her own daughter to engage in violence, she is not only responsible for hurting an innocent child as if she had struck him with her own fist, but she has turned her own child into someone who is ready to hurt another child.”

In the days following the game, Corey Benjamin, 44, a first-round pick for the Chicago Bulls who played for the team from 1998 to 2003, apologized for his daughter. He told NBC Los Angeles in a statement that he was “shocked and disappointed” by her behavior.

“It’s not a reflection of my family’s values ​​and standards,” he said. “It also does not exemplify the values, character and sportsmanship that basketball demands. My daughter made a mistake. One she will have to correct. I am committed to providing my daughter with all the assistance she may need and to help her take responsibility for her conduct.

Andrew Blankstein and Tim Stellah contributed.



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