One of the most disturbing acts of bad sports-parent behavior was brought to a surprising conclusion on Thursday when Minneapolis native and youth basketball coach Paul Hill avoided jail time despite pleading guilty to firing a gun at the father of a player.
As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and a handful of other sources, Hill was handed a suspended three-year jail term contingent on a five-year probationary sentence, which means that as long as Hill doesn't violate the terms of his probation he will avoid any jail time and his felony conviction will be downgraded to a misdemeanor.
That's a stunningly lenient sentence for a longtime youth basketball coach and the parent of one of the greatest girls basketball stars in Minnesota history who fired a gun directly at another parent.
The incident that landed Hill in his current predicament occurred in September, when Hill became embroiled in an argument with the parent of another player at a YWCA. After a brief argument culminated in Hill and Patrick Adams (the other parent) shoving each other, Hill told Adams, "I've got something for you," and disappeared in his car.
Yet Hill wasn't gone for long, and when he returned he had a gun. Hill asked Adams' wife where he was, drove towards him and fired a single shot from his vehicle.
While the shooting was the first known incident of parental rage involving Hill, the situation is an extremely troubling one considering his roots in the Minneapolis youth basketball scene. Hill's quote to the other parent proves that his attack was premeditated, yet he still avoided jail time.
In addition to Tayler Hill, the Ohio State starter who set state records for career scoring while playing at Minneapolis (Minn.) South High, Paul Hill is also the father of six other children involved in youth basketball.
Hopefully probation will be sufficient to keep Hill on the straight and narrow, though the prosecution in his case sounded a note of resistance to the lenient sentence handed to the basketball parent, objecting to the lack of jail time for anyone who fired a .22 caliber firearm at another parent.
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