Sadly, high school basketball players from Oldsmar Christian School near Tampa, Florida, helped themselves to money and other items, including cellphones, belonging to Floyd County High School team members at the Chance Harman Classic charity basketball tournament in Floyd over the weekend.
The items were returned after Floyd’s players discovered them missing at halftime of of the Buffaloes game against Gate City and FCHS basketball coach Brian Harman called the coach of the Florida team on his cell phone and the team’s bus, on its way back to Tampa, turned around and returned to Floyd so the coach could return the stolen items.
“We called the coach at halftime, and he turned around and came back,” Harman told the Roanoke Times. “They were on their way back to Tampa at the time. I don’t know at what place they were, but they were on their way home. Everything was returned back, and they went on their way.”
Harman said the Oldsmar Christian coach apologized for the theft, said the larceny was caused by “only a few players” and said the illicit activity is not “indicative” of the school’s athletic program.
Harman told the Times:
He told me last night by text message that he was very apologetic, very sorry, and that was not a sign of his program or him as a coach. He had narrowed it down to a couple of individuals on the team, but he didn’t say who. It was disappointing. It was a bad situation that got taken care of, but they won’t get another opportunity to come back and play in my event.
The Chance Harman Classic is named for the Floyd coach’s son, who died at age 4 of a rare form of brain cancer. The annual tournament in Floyd raises money for cancer research. This year’s tournament featured 16 teams in eight games over two days and presented a check for more than $23,000 to the Duke University Medical Center following the game.
Oldsmar officials did not return phone calls seeking comment Monday. One of the questions we wanted to ask was if they felt the thefts by students at a school named Oldsmar Christian was, in fact, the “Christian” thing to do, especially at an event played for charity for a good cause.
The school, opened in 1980 by Oldsmar Baptist Church near Tampa, says this on its web site:
We strive to make Oldsmar Christian School serve as an extension of the Christian home and to train young people in a Christian environment. Our goal is to train youth of varying abilities in the highest principles of Christian leadership, individual responsibility, integrity, self-discipline, and citizenship. We stand, without apology, for the complete and full gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ.