Cordia (Ky.) Players Respond to Racially-Motivated Attacks
Cordia (Ky.) players Marlon King and Emmanuel Owootaoh responded Wednesday to the racially-motivated attacks on them during this interview with WYKT.com.
(Here’s the video: http://www.wkyt.com/video/?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=8510325 )
“I was shocked,” King said, according to WKYT. “It didn’t really affect me in a negative way. I just looked at it and saw it and laughed. I wasn’t used to it because none of that stuff happened in Canada.”
As we reported here earlier, the Canadian players of Caribbean descent were reportedly tagged in Twitter and Facebook photos depicting a noose and a flag burning. The boys’ guardians, Eduardo and Jessica Flores, also said the back door of their home was shot at and that he kids have been attacked “repeatedly.”
WKYT reported police are looking for the person who used a pellet gun to shoot the door, and for the person who smashed the Flores’ mailbox.
“I did three tours in Iraq to defend our constitution,” Eduardo Flores said. “I am 100 percent for America’s values. It just seems to me that we are lacking those values in this situation.”
The 5-foot-10 Owootoah and the 6-2 King are among a new wave of Canadians who have come to the U.S. to pursue their dreams of a Division 1 scholarship and of potentially playing in the NBA, as we wrote in this story.
Owootoah has interest from numerous schools, including UCLA, Kentucky, Seton Hall and Alabama, but has yet to pick up his first offer.
“It’s great, the support we get from the community and fans,” Owootoah said. “At our last game they made cut-out posters of us. They had so much stuff going on for just one game and it was amazing because we had never seen anything like that back home.”
Alice Whitaker is a guardian to another black player at Cordia and told WKYT that Owootoah felt singled out.
“He had felt so comfortable here and so welcomed here because we love him and all the kids,” Whitaker said. “And to have that happen…I’m sure that he felt that he was singled out because he’s black.”
WKYT left a message with the Knott County Board of Education requesting comment, but the call had not been returned as of 7 p.m. Wednesday.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.