Latira Hunt Charged After Telling Daughter to Punch Opponent in Basketball Game: Police

A California mother was charged with two misdemeanors on Thursday after allegedly being caught on video in November yelling at her teenage daughter from the stands during a basketball game to hit a player on the opposing team.

Latira Shonty Hunt, 44, saw her daughter fall on the court after an interaction with the alleged victim. Hunt yelled, "You better hit her for that." Her daughter then punched the 15-year-old victim who fell "to the floor like a ragdoll," Orange County District Attorney Todd Spritzer said.

The victim's lawyer, Kevin Hahn, said the girl suffered a concussion.

Hunt was charged with two misdemeanors, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor and battery. Spitzer said she could face up to a year in jail if convicted on both counts.

Hahn said the family is "pleased with the DA's decision to charge the mother. We think it's warranted given the facts."

Former NBA player Corey Benjamin issued an apology for his daughter allegedly punching and injuring the girl during a youth basketball tournament in Garden Grove.

"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," he said in a statement. "Nor does it exemplify the values, character and spirit of sportsmanship that the game of basketball requires."

Basketball, Court
A California mother was charged with two misdemeanors on Thursday after allegedly being caught on video in November yelling at her teenage daughter from the stands during a basketball game to hit a player on the opposing team. Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Spitzer said the punch came following a play during which Hunt's daughter tried to block a shot and the other girl fell to the ground after attempting to score.

"The ball now has changed hands and they're going back to the other basket," and that's when Hunt encouraged her daughter to hit the other girl, Spitzer said.

The district attorney said as a parent of two student-athletes, he has seen plenty of parents yell and scream from the stands, but not to the point of instigating an attack.

"I've never seen a parent encourage another child who is competing against my kid or any other player to engage in violence," he said.

Contact information for Hunt couldn't be found and it wasn't immediately known if she has an attorney.

"In my opinion, it would have not happened, but for mom's words," Spitzer said of the alleged attack. He said Hunt's words "were the catalyst" that caused her daughter "to even think about" punching the other girl.

Hunt is scheduled to be arraigned on January 26.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.