An Oklahoma girls basketball coach has been accused of ordering his players to intentionally injure an opponent by throwing an inbounds basketball pass off a specific player’s face. The claim comes from the father of the injured player, though they are supported by significant video and other evidence obtained via a legion of public records requests, and has led to a suspension for the coach, who in turn was quick to place blame on the injured player herself.
In a comprehensive report on the incident from the Oklahoman, Gary Holt, the father of former Elgin girls basketball star Jentry Holt (now at Oklahoma State), made extensive claims that Cache head girls basketball coach Kenny White specifically ordered his players to throw the ball heartily off Jentry Holt’s face on an inbounds play. Gary Holt claims the intent was to break his daughter’s nose, and he has combed through extensive video footage to prove it.
Here’s how the Oklahoman lays out the scene:
Trailing nine points with 20 seconds remaining, Elgin set up its full-court press following a basket. With Jentry Holt holding her arms out and closely guarding the inbounds pass, and after two Cache players appear to be signaling something by touching their nose, Cache’s Nautica Butler threw the inbounds pass off Holt’s face.
An official called a flagrant foul on Butler, but Jentry Holt does not remember shooting the ensuing free throw. She was not diagnosed with a concussion, though her parents did take her to the doctor after she struggled to sleep, was irritable and suffered anxiety over the next few weeks …
This additional supporting evidence came from an earlier meeting between the two schools:
Later, Cache players appear to touch their nose again before running what appears to be a similar play after a timeout. This time Holt is defending Butler, who instead throws it off Holt’s lower body.
On the second try with Holt guarding her, Butler fires the ball into her face, causing Holt’s head to whip back.
According to signed affidavits from former player Mia Niedo and current player Jamie Bonnarens, White designed the play well before the game.
Those affidavits are critical for the elder Holt’s case. Additionally, if White did design the play before the game, that also undermines what he himself told reporters in July, that he ordered the ball thrown off Holt’s body, not her face.
The new case made by Holt has put additional focus on White, despite an existing three-game suspension levied against him from an initial ruling into the incident. The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association accepted that initial suspension, which was handed down by Cache officials, and has shown no intent to re-open the disciplinary process. That could all change now, thanks to the vigilance of one father and his refusal to stop until the coach he feels intentionally injured his daughter is no longer a coach at all.