CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Some people at West Charlotte High School are disappointed their boys’ basketball team will not have home court advantage at Tuesday night’s game against Ardrey Kell High School.
The team made it to the regional semi-finals only to be told West Charlotte’s High School gymnasium wasn’t big enough to host the game. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) made the decision after concerns were brought up by both teams.
"We want everybody to have that home court advantage if they’ve worked hard,” NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said. “And their seed says they should have that home court advantage, but again in recognizing there are some gyms not only in Charlotte but in other parts of our State where the size will dictate that we make some changes.”
NCHSAA has the right to change venues if it feels the facility can’t handle a large crowd or if the facility is not up to par. People heard the decision about the change at 8 p.m. Sunday. The game is Tuesday.
"We were upset at first," West Charlotte High School Student Body President Kayla Gaymon said. "Disappointed - but now we are just focusing on - so we are all going to the game."
The game will now be played at Vance High School which is across town in the University area. Gaymon was concerned that distance would prevent students from being able to go to the basketball game. It appears students have worked out a plan.
"We have students who will be carpooling," Gaymon said. "We have students going with administration, students going with their teams."
This decision has brought up the subject of equity in our schools. People in the community believed the decision was a sign that West Charlotte High School wasn't good enough to host a game. Fans called NCHSAA and expressed their frustration to officials. People in the community will continue to disagree with NCHSAA pulling the game. While that debate continues one battle that many hope will end is the haves vs. the have nots when it comes to schools.
"It is obviously something that should be looked at," West Charlotte High School Staff Kevin Poirier said. "In terms of making sure that all schools have the ability to host the games that they get into. Sometimes we don't think of it in terms of athletics and thinking that all spaces are not the same and some athletes get different spaces, so I think this is bringing an interest and a good conversation for our community to have."
THe NCHSAA Commissioner agrees all schools should be equal but knows that’s a battle she can’t fight.
"I've seen gymnasiums across the state that I would like for them to be larger," Tucker said. "But I also know that that's not an issue I need to spend a lot of time worrying about - because I can't control it and can't fix it."
West Charlotte High School students want to pack Vance High School out during the game so their team can feel the love and support. Tipoff is at 7 Tuesday night.