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San Antonio prep hoops fans accused of racism over ‘USA, USA’ chant

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

A high-profile high school in one of the wealthiest districts of the San Antonio region finds itself under fire after its fans chanted "USA, USA, USA" following its boys basketball team's regional final victory against a team made up predominantly of Hispanic players.

As reported by KENS5.com, the Alamo Heights (Texas) High boys basketball team's regional title celebrations were marred by the aforementioned "USA" chants, which came from the school's fan section in the school's Littleton Gym.

While San Antonio Independent School District athletics director Gil Garza insisted that Alamo Heights boys basketball coach Andrew Brewer acted quickly to quash the inflammatory chants, the school at which they were directed -- San Antonio (Texas) Edison High -- filed an official complaint about the incident with the University Interscholastic League, the governing body which oversees Texas public high school extracurricular activities.

"I appreciate coach Brewer taking the action he took to stop it," Garza told KENS5. "Our kids try real hard and work extra hard to get to the regional tournament, and then we have to worry about them being subjected to this kind of insensitivity.

"To be attacked about your ethnicity and being made to feel that you don't belong in this country is terrible. Why can't people just applaud our kids? It just gets old and I'm sick of it. Once again, we're on pins and needles wondering what's going to happen."

The chants -- which can be heard in the video from San Antonio TV station KSAT below -- and subsequent brouhaha overshadowed Alamo Heights' first berth in the state basketball tournament in 21 years, earned by virtue of a 50-39 victory against Edison.

The Alamo Heights School District will now have 10 days to officially respond to the complaint from SAISD, but the district's superintendent wasted no time in offering up his apologies for the fan section's actions, which you can hear in this video from San Antonio TV station KSAT.

"Obviously, we were disappointed that this happened," Alamo Heights superintendent Kevin Brown, who reportedly apologized to SAISD officials personally, told KENS5. "That's not who we are as a community and that's not who we are as a school. It's not something that's acceptable for us. Our kids are very respectable. We have to remember that they're teenagers, and kids make mistakes.

"Still, there are consequences. We have tried to use this as a teachable moment for them. We have talked to our students. We've taken responsibility for it, although what happened is not representative of everybody who was there."

Meanwhile, at least one report noted that Edison students may have inflamed the situation by chanting "Alamo whites" either before or after the "USA, USA" chant began. Still, while that claim was reported by one San Antonio Express-News columnist it has not been substantiated by other sources (though it has also been perpetuated by Alamo Heights supporters online, which doesn't necessarily speak to its veracity or lack thereof).

While it may still be some time before all the consequences connected with the chanting incident are sorted out, the fans whom Brewer and other Alamo Heights officials identified as being involved in the chanting incident have already been banned from attending the team's state semifinal against Dallas (Texas) Kimball High in Austin on Thursday.

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