‘Sad, heartbreaking and uncalled for’: East Central girls basketball team endures ‘racial situation’ at tournament in Marble Falls

Senior Asia Prudhomme sinks free throw while Marble Falls student section shouted monkey noises

During East Central's road game at Marble Falls last Friday, Hornets senior Asia Prudhomme endured feigned monkey screams from an opposing student section while shooting free throws.

SAN ANTONIOUPDATE: Marble Falls ISD has released a statement from Principal Damon Adams on their facebook page. It says in part:

School administrators are reviewing video footage and will interview students and patrons who attended the game to ensure a thorough investigation. Marble Falls High School takes these allegations seriously and will hold students accountable for any behaviors that violate our expectations.

As campus principal, I regret that any player or guest in attendance at our tournament experienced anything from our student body that made them feel uncomfortable or devalued. I am saddened that the behaviors of a very small number of students could tarnish the impression that others have of the incredible group of kids who make up our student body.

Federal laws prevent me from sharing specific information about individual students and disciplinary consequences. Still, I hope that by sharing this information about the emphasis that our district places on how we treat others, I can offer some assurance that we will take all steps necessary to hold students accountable and continue to foster a caring and inclusive culture at Marble Falls High School.

Damon Adams, Ed.D. - Principal, Marble Falls High School

ORIGINAL STORY (Nov. 21, 2022) -- On Friday afternoon at Marble Falls High School, Asia Prudhomme stepped to the line to shoot a free throw.

The East Central High School senior leads her team in scoring this year by averaging roughly 19 points per game and recently celebrated surpassing 1,000 career points. The Hornets trailed the hometown Lady Mustangs 10-8 late in the first quarter. Shooting free throws under duress from an opposing crowd is nothing new for Prudhomme, but the noises she heard during these free throws were more disturbing.

Feigned monkey screeches erupted from the Marble Falls student section. They persisted for a solid eight seconds while Prudhomme readied her shot and followed through. She did not react in the moment and calmly sank the free throw.

This was not an isolated incident.

The student section continued to harass Prudhomme and the Hornets with monkey noises several times throughout the first half. Multiple adults, including coaches and trainers, can be seen on camera sitting feet away from the student section and doing nothing.

“Spectators, you know, were harassing the players with very insensitive racial calls,” East Central ISD spokesman Brandon Oliver said.

In the video that is now circulating around Twitter, you can hear some of those calls.

“They sounded like they were mimicking like monkey calls, you know, that sort of thing. And, yeah, it was extremely offensive,” Oliver said.

At halftime, one of East Central’s parents walked over to a Marble Falls administrator and asked them to speak with the students in question. That effort finally curtailed the noise, but the damage was done. The Hornets were outscored 17-9 in the second quarter and lost a physical game against the Lady Mustangs 58-50 in part because of a significant foul disparity.

On Saturday afternoon, Prudhomme posted a video of the incident on her personal twitter account and said, “This is sad, heartbreaking and uncalled for. Can’t even play basketball without ignorance and racism in the stands. This really broke my heart, my coaches and teammates…”

“This situation was hard,” head coach Vanessa Villarreal explained on twitter. “Speaking to my girls about this was hard. Our weekend was not ruined by this. Our kids grew & I wish I could show what our girls did on the bus once we discussed it. Our girls are amazing people who love each other so much! I love them for that!”

The East Central community has since rallied on social media to spread the word about the incident. As of Sunday evening, the video of the incident has more than 10,000 views.

Earlier Sunday afternoon, the team posted a longer comment on facebook:

On Friday afternoon our team went through a very difficult game at a tournament. Unfortunately one of our athletes had to go through a racial situation that was very hurtful and unacceptable. Our athletes, coaching staff & parents are not ok with what happened! We appreciate the athletic office and administration from both schools who are working to handle this situation. We are a strong family & we have each others back! None of these actions will change the memories we made this weekend overall. Our team grew even more as a family on this trip!

Thank you to everyone for their support of our #32 and our entire team! 💛🏀🖤

East Central Girls Basketball

Late Sunday night, East Central Independent School District Athletic Director Suzette Arriola issued the following statement on twitter:

After the hurtful behaviors recently demonstrated by the fans of an opposing school we want our community to know that ECISD stands behind its players. Diversity is one of our key core values. Our coaches and administration believes “all means all.” We are sorry our players had to endure this from specatators and we are working quickly with their administration and coaching staff to resolve this situation. We THANK the EC community and everyone for their support and encouragement. #ECStrong #ECProud

@ArriolaSuzette

Oliver said that the district has intervened and reached out to the player and the family.

It’s very sad that this is still occurring in our society,” Oliver said. “To hear, you know, kids doing those things, it’s very it’s very heartbreaking.”

“The administration will continue to work with Marble Falls and provide whatever support we can, whether that’s video testimonials, whatever they need to conclude their investigation. Obviously, you know, they’re you know, they’re they’re going to be the ones that are going to conduct since it’s it’s their host site,” Oliver said.

KSAT has reached out to the Marble Falls Athletic Department for comment.

On Friday at 6:45 p.m., the twitter account for the Marble Falls girls basketball team announced that, “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Lady Mustangs will not be playing a game on Saturday during our tournament.” With their win over East Central, Marble Falls had advanced in the Hill Country Classic tournament bracket and was originally scheduled to play San Marcos. Instead, Saginaw filled in and played the Rattlers Saturday morning at 9 a.m. It is unclear if Marble Falls’ decision to withdraw from Saturday’s competition is specifically related to the events that unfolded Friday night.

East Central won three of the five games they played in the tournament. The Hornets are now 10-4 overall and will next face South San Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.


About the Authors:

Andrew has covered athletics of all levels for more than five years and is dedicated to shining a spotlight on local San Antonio athletes and their stories.

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.