Christian school players stole money, cell phones at Chance Harman basketball tourney

Floyd County's Buffaloes playing against Gate City in the Chance Harman Classic.  While they played, students from a "Christian" school were stealing cash and cell phones in the Floyd team's locker room
Floyd County’s Buffaloes playing against Gate City in the Chance Harman Classic. While they played, students from a “Christian” school were stealing cash and cell phones in the Floyd team’s locker room

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.

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7 thoughts on “Christian school players stole money, cell phones at Chance Harman basketball tourney”

  1. OBVIOUSLY this wasn’t the entire team. OBVIOUSLY when “the coach of the Florida team” was alerted, he acted quickly and swiftly, turning the bus around. OBVIOUSLY you could figure out the players’ names and maybe even the coach’s by doing a little reporting and calling the St. Pete Times — because those players are no longer with the team or even in school. Maybe something as technologically advanced as a Google search? lol … By the way, his name is Jordan Fair and he has done an outstanding job of building that program with almost no help from anyone. OBVIOUSLY what those teen-agers did was wrong, they have been punished and it should be over. But you seem intent on pounding home the message that somehow, this means the school cannot fulfill its Christian mission?

    • Hate to ruin your ravings with a few “obvious” facts Don but:

      (1) Our story was written before the St. Pete Times was even aware of the matter;

      (2) The school did not respond to my request for comment or information;

      (3) The only stories about this issue that appear on a Google News search are the one that I wrote and a story in The Roanoke Times;

      (4) I omitted the coach’s name to avoid embarrassing him. The players were not named because they were not charged with any crimes and if any had been under 18 charged their names would not have been used anyway;

      (5) I know a little bit about the area and the school. I was born in Tampa and still have family there.

      Obviously, you were too pissed off to do any research of your own. I noted the items were returned and figured the school would deal with the problem. They did. Case closed.

      Any more problems?

  2. More than anything, it bothered me that you acknowledge that you have nothing in terms of comment from Oldsmar (granted, because they didn’t respond), but then sort of pile on anyway by suggesting the obvious — that kids stealing probably isn’t the “Christian” thing to do, especially at an event played for charity for a good cause. YA THINK? If it were me and the Oldsmar coach wanted to do it, I would ABSOLUTELY invite them back and let Jordan grab the microphone and apologize to the crowd for the actions of a few idiots who are no longer around. Now THAT would be a Christian thing to do, Coach Harman!!!

    • What we reported were simply the facts of what happened.

      Coach Harman didn’t give the story to us or the newspapers and would have preferred that nothing appeared in print on the thefts but it was the decision of the newspaper that the thefts were news and I concur.

      The simple and sad truth here is that money, cell phones and other items were stolen by a few players from a Christian School invited to a charity basketball tournament and that was what we and the newspaper reported: Nothing more, nothing less.

      If the school had a further story to tell, then they had a chance to do so with us or the Times but they chose not to do so. That was the school’s choice. It happened and was reported. Too bad that it happened but it did.

      As Walter Conkite used to say at the end of his nightly newscast, “and that’s the way it is. Good night.”

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