Lifestyle & Human Interest

Coaches Think They Have Clever Idea for Sub After Player Can't Make It to Game - It Ends Up Getting Them Fired


Arlisha Boykins might not be able to get another job in public schools anytime soon — unless, of course, they start hiring people to be students.

This seems pretty unlikely, but don’t tell that to Boykins. After all, the 22-year-old former assistant coach for the Churchland High School girls basketball team in Portsmouth, Virginia, is currently unemployed because she pretended to be a pupil.

She did it so well — at least on the basketball court — that she and the head coach were both fired.

Boykins impersonated a student who was out of town for a club basketball tournament, the girl’s parents told WAVY-TV in Portsmouth.

Thus, for the Jan. 21 junior varsity game against Nansemond River High School, Boykins was seen dominating in a No. 1 jersey for the Churchland Truckers.

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Footage initially obtained by WAVY included Boykins blocking a shot, shooting free throws and driving to the basket for a layup.

All throughout, Boykins — who was going up against 14- and 15-year-old girls — is seen interacting with her “teammates,” celebrating and receiving hand-slaps.

Are you surprised they got caught?

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that the situation began to unravel when the school received last week what the Times charitably described as a “peculiar report” — namely, that Boykins had suited up for the JV basketball team.

District spokeswoman Lauren Nolasco told the Times that Boykins was no longer employed with the district as of Jan. 25 after the district confirmed the report. She insisted that no school administrators were in attendance at the game.

In addition, head coach Jahmal Street was also no longer employed. Sources said he was “encouraging the behavior” from the sidelines, WAVY reported.

After a meeting with administrators, varsity and junior varsity players and their parents, the spokeswoman for the district said, the student-athletes “expressed they did not want to continue this season,” according to the Times.

This isn’t the first time this has happened: “In Dallas, a 25-year-old man posed as a 17-year-old student and played in a high school basketball team, becoming a star player before he was arrested in 2018 and charged with tampering with government records,” the Times noted. “And in Memphis, in 2013, a 22-year-old man was accused of faking transcripts in order to join a high school basketball team, according to Fox 2, a local television station.”

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It’s unusual that one of these individuals has been a coach, however.

“Coaches always preach to the kids about integrity and those types of things, so I was just shocked,” said the father of the 13-year-old Boykins impersonated, according to WAVY.

The family said their child has no plans to attend Churchland High School next year, as she’s no longer interested in being part of a program that subs a 22-year-old coach in her place. They also asked for an apology from the school.

As for the district itself, it’s launched an investigation into the matter.

The video rather speaks for itself, though. As conservative sports-centric outlet OutKick noted, “This footage is unbelievable.”

Sadly, in 2023, it’s not too unbelievable. We live in a culture where we tell ourselves lies all the time — many of them having to do with high school or college athletics. We tell ourselves that it’s improper and impolitic to point out that a man who calls himself a woman has biological advantages in women’s sports, no matter how much hormone therapy he might have undergone.

This took that dishonesty to a new extreme, however, and it didn’t just involve people lying to themselves about the truth. On the other hand, those lies ended with real-world consequences — and, unless Arlisha Boykins can find another public school looking to hire a 22-year-old “student” to play basketball for them, this is likely to be an ugly blister on her resumé for a long time to come.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture