EXCLUSIVE: Former Alexandria City basketball coach speaks out on heckler incident caught on camera
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Darryl Prue is a basketball lifer, an All-American at Dunbar High in D.C. who would go on to coach at Georgetown University and elsewhere. But in all his time on the court, Prue said he’d never seen anything like this.
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"I have never seen a coach get attacked by their own parent," Prue told FOX 5 Wednesday.
The now-former coach of Alexandria City High School said a fan of his own team heckled him and his fellow coaches throughout a game last week at Wakefield High School in Arlington.
"This heckler was getting more and more abusive, more and more loud," Prue recalled.
When asked what the heckler said, the coach answered, "I can’t use the words on TV. It was a lot of foul language, a lot of abusive language."
Prue said he looked for help from school officials, didn’t find it and walked several steps into the stands to confront the fan.
"I had my hands up, like, ‘What’s going on? How can we solve this?’ He said something, he wasn’t talking to me … I stepped down, walking back towards my bench, and this is when I get hit from behind," Prue explained, adding that the person who hit him was not the heckler who’d been yelling throughout the game. Prue is also adamant that he never threw a punch.
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"Yes, I shouldn’t have went into the stands, but at what point do we protect our kids? It’s just more about me, and it seems like over the years and over the last few years, there’s been an epidemic of bad behavior amongst parents in youth sports," he said.
Alexandria City Public Schools suspended Prue pending an investigation before the coach ultimately resigned.
Prue said this was his most serious run-in with parents, but it wasn’t his only one.
"I was verbally threatened a lot," he said. "So it’s been more than this."
He added that he believes something needs to be done.
"This shouldn’t happen. It’s just sports. It’s youth sports. It’s a developmental thing, and I think this should be at least a conversation all over the country about parent control at games and dealing with coaches."
Alexandria City Public Schools did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Officials also did not respond to questions, including whether or not the fans who were involved in the incident have been disciplined.
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The incident was reported to police, but so far, no charges have been filed.