Myers Park girls basketball team fights to play in national tournament

Myers Park girls basketball team fights to play in national tournament

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A once in a lifetime opportunity may be in limbo for the Myers Park girls basketball team.

This season, the team's record is close to perfect, which is why they were invited to play at Madison Square Garden in the Dicks Sporting Goods National Tournament.

"This is an exceptional team. It's been an exceptional season. They have worked exceptionally hard," parent Melissa Owens said.

But a state rule may stop the girls from taking the national stage.

"When we contacted the association about going, they said we can't allow you to accept the invitation," parent Dan Owens said.

According to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, teams can only play games inside the scheduled season, which is two weeks shy of the tournament.

"I think they need to make exceptions for things that happen on an exceptional level," parent Jen Haire said.

NCHSSA Commissioner Davis Whitfield tells WBTV the rule has been in place for decades to encourage students to participate in multiple sports.

"We want to promote our student athletes participating in multiple sports and by allowing additional competition outside the sports season. And one has the opportunity for additional practice time, additional competition," Whitfield said.

He worries making an exception could open Pandora's box.

"You might as well discuss the rule and changing the rule, because you're going to have to. These one off exceptions, turn into multiple exceptions," Whitfield said.

"I think what the association needs to do is look at these talented teams when these opportunities arise and let them take advantage of it," Haire said.

It's not a done deal. After hearing from the school, the district and parents, the association is scheduled to revisit the issue in one week to decide if Myers Park will play in Manhattan.

"We would love to take advantage of this opportunity and we see it slipping through our fingers," Owens said.

The commissioner added the association may need to revisit the rule in the future.

The tournament is April second through the fourth.

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