SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – A fake basketball coach has been charged with assault after officials said he got physical with an eighth grade student at practice.
The man at the center of the controversy allegedly coached the boys basketball team as Crescent Academy Charter School in Southfield for months, but the school never hired him as the coach.
School officials said the real basketball coach was fired because she allowed Davantae Alexander, who is apparently her boyfriend, to do her job. When Alexander tried to discipline an eighth grade player, he ended up getting arrested. That’s when school leaders discovered Alexander had been around the students without any vetting.
Officials said Alexander was helping his girlfriend, a teacher who also worked as the basketball coach.
“I turned my face around and that ball hit my face,” student Antonio McCune said.
Antonio, 14, said the incident happened two weeks ago during practice. His nose started bleeding after someone intentionally threw a basketball at him.
“The person that threw the ball was my coach, Coach Taye,” Antonio said.
“Coach Taye” is Alexander, and he has no affiliation with the school.
“This is a school,” said Kenyetta McCune-Thompson, Antonio’s mother. “This is a grown man around kids, girls and boys. They have a girls team, too.”
Superintendent Cheris Cupidore said Alexander wasn’t authorized to be near any of the children.
“Do you know how he got in your building?” Cupidore was asked.
“No, we do not,” Cupidore said.
It turns out it wasn’t the first time Alexander was around the players.
“Five months,” McCune-Thompson said. “That’s a long time to be coaching kids, and nobody knows his name.”
Police wouldn’t release Alexander’s mug shot because he hasn’t been arraigned. He is facing possible charges of assault and battery.
Alexander has made vulgar, homemade rap videos that are on YouTube, McCune-Thompson said.
“Drugs, violence,” McCune-Thompson said. “My son is an honor roll student. He doesn’t get into trouble. This isn’t what I want around my child.”
Crescent Academy launched an investigation and determined a math teacher allowed Alexander to assist as she coached the boys.
“How could someone be there five months and no one know their name?” McCune-Thompson said. “These kids went on various events, even Little Caesars Arena, and at that time, he’s the only coach there.”
The school never did a background check.
Coaches are not allowed to open doors or bring anyone unauthorized into the building, so Cupidore said the school is taking measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Signs are now posted, letting parents know that all after-school practices are closed. Anyone who enters the gym has to register and have a purpose.
“We did not take that lightly,” Cupidore said. “Security of students and staff is foremost.”
McCune-Thompson said she has bigger worries.
“I can’t sleep,” she said. “I’m watching out for my family because this man threatened us, and y’all brought him into our life.”
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