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Ex-Bulls guard Corey Benjamin apologizes after daughter threw punch at basketball tournament

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Former Chicago Bulls guard Corey Benjamin issued an apology this week after his daughter threw a punch at an opponent’s head during a basketball game in Southern California on Sunday.

Benjamin’s daughter came from behind and sucker-punched 15-year-old Lauryn Ham during a tournament in Garden Grove, California, on Sunday, which knocked her to the ground.

“As a father, I’m shocked and disappointed at my daughter’s behavior as this is not a reflection of the values and standards that my family holds,” Benjamin said in a statement, via The Associated Press. “Nor does it exemplify the values, character and spirit of sportsmanship that the game of basketball requires.”

Benjamin wasn’t at the basketball game.

Lauryn, 15, suffered a concussion after she was hit in the chin and throat, her mother, Alice Ham, told ABC7, and hasn’t been able to attend school since. Ham filed a police complaint from the incident, and alleged that Benjamin’s daughter was encouraged to hit Lauryn by her mother.

“I want the daughter and the mom held accountable,” Ham told ABC7. “Because this type of behavior is reprehensible and cannot happen in youth sports.”

Benjamin spent three seasons with the Chicago Bulls, who selected him with the No. 28 overall pick in 1998. He briefly played for the Atlanta Hawks in 2002 after spending a season in Italy before retiring. He averaged 5.5 points and 1.7 rebounds over 153 games throughout his career.

“To the young lady who was punched by my daughter during a youth basketball game, I sincerely apologize to you and I am praying for your complete healing both physically and emotionally,” Benjamin said in a statement, via The Associated Press. “To her family, I deeply apologize and regret that this happened to your daughter as she did not deserve this to happen to her. 

"Finally, I apologize to all of those who have been impacted and hurt by the actions of my daughter as well as those of her mother.”