The Park Hill boys basketball team’s first district title in three seasons came with its head coach suspended Friday.
Trojans head coach Chad Jones will be allowed to return from the suspension for Wednesday’s Missouri Class 5 sectional playoff game, Park Hill principal Brad Kincheloe said.
Kincheloe and Nicole Kirby, the Park Hill School District’s director of communications, would not reveal what led to Jones’ absence Friday.
Two people who were present at the Trojans’ practice Thursday told The Star that one player used a racial epithet to describe a teammate. Both of the players were black, the sources said.
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In the process of telling his player not to use the language, Jones repeated the word back to the player, the sources said.
When asked about the incident, Kincheloe said, “I wasn’t there, so I’m relying on the coaches and athletes to tell me what happened.”
Kincheloe declined to comment about the nature of those conversations.
Jones is in his second season as the Park Hill head coach.
Without Jones present Friday, the Trojans rolled to the Missouri Class 5, District 16 championship with a 64-41 win against Oak Park. It is their first district title since 2014.
Fred Turner served as the head coach. Turner, a longtime high school and college coach, is in his first season as a Park Hill assistant after retiring five years ago.
“When we found out he wasn’t going to be here, of course it (stunk), because, I mean, he’s the biggest part,” junior Ronnie Bell said. “We couldn’t be here without him. He’s going to be back. We know he’s going to be back. And we’re going to take care of business whenever he comes back.”