SAN ANTONIO – A district executive committee met Thursday at the Texas High School Coaches Association in San Marcos to discuss an incident that occurred during a recent high school girls basketball game between South San and Kerrville Tivy.
A video posted that showed Tivy basketball player McKenzie Dill shoving South San's Destiny Hilliary from behind during a tournament game played on Nov. 17.
The video showed Hilliary attempt to get back on her feet, stumble over and fall back onto the court before she received assistance. A foul was not called on Dill and she was not punished at the time.
At Thursday's hearing, Tivy principal Shelby Balser told the committee Dill was suspended for two games following the incident, but has since returned to the court.
South San had already filed an incident report seeking further punishment for Dill.
The motion that was voted on and later approved was to send the case up to the UIL state executive committee due to the "sensitivity and emotion" behind the case.
Both sides will be heard again at a later date and the UIL will determine the outcome if any additional penalties need to take place.
South San head coach Jacob Alegria attended the hearing, testified and elaborated on the severity of Hilliary's injury.
Alegria said Hillary suffered a severe concussion and has missed nine games while recovering from the injury.
She has also missed multiple classes due to severe headaches, her mother explained in a letter she wrote that was presented and read by Alegria during the hearing.
Balser recognized that basketball is a contact sport, and while Dill intended to make contact with Hilliary, she did not intend to injure her.
Balser stressed that however this case is handled will set precedent for future cases that involve plays that end in injury.
Algeria was joined by assistant athletic director Diane Munoz and Principal Dr. Lee Hernandez.
Alegria described the intensity of the game and showed videos of a play also showing what he described as Dill's unnecessary aggression toward a different South San player before the incident with Hillary.
Alegria stated they have not received an apology from Dill or Tivy head coach Kristy Dill, who is McKenzie's mother.
Alegria went into detail about how Hilliary was unresponsive following the collision. He said her eyes were rolling back into her head and she was shaking.
Academically Hillary was an A-student before the incident. Alegria said she has hopes of playing basketball at the collegiate level and has worked hard academically to get there.
Her grades have suffered as a result of missing class from the injury and she has started attending tutoring to help catch up on missed classes.
Final points made from Balser were that Dill has never had any disciplinary issues in school, she does well academically and was an overall “aggressive and competitive kid.”
South San mentioned multiple times that this is not an isolated incident and that Hilliary and their staff is looking out for the future safety of other players who may encounter Dill.
South San ISD Communications officer, Jocelyn Durand, gave a statement to KSAT on the case moving up to the state level:
“We were really happy to see that it is going to be a UIL decision. And that it’s going to set precedent- we think that it really requires that type of attention. We think that this is an uncommon injury, that it is a serious injury. We believe that it was a serious matter. So to see that the board also determined that, that it requires a little more attention, and maybe some higher-ups eyes on it. We are satisfied with that and we hope that the UIL will take into consideration and really think about our student and what was lost. And the school time that was lost, the time on the court that she hasn’t been able to play. And takes all of that into consideration when dealing with the matter.”
The committee voting members are made up of eight individuals who represent various school districts in the area. Many are athletic directors and some principals.
Balser is a member of the committee but was unable to vote in this case since her school is involved. She declined to make any comments.
No dates of future hearings have been announced at this time.