Phoenix Christian girl’s head basketball coach caught shoving Fort Thomas player on video

Fort Thomas High School

AIA investigating incident

By Jon Johnson

CHANDLER – Phoenix Christian Preparatory School girl’s basketball coach Tara Poovey was caught on video shoving Fort Thomas girl’s basketball player Jordan Juan during the Chandler New Year’s Classic basketball tournament on Thursday, Jan. 2. 

The incident occurred in the fourth period. Juan is shown on the video throwing an inbounds pass, after which Poovey gives her a shoulder to the body. The incident was caught on a Facebook Livestream video by Juan’s aunt, Twila Lomayesva, who later posted the clip on Facebook as well. The video clip is posted below.

After the shove, officials working the game gave Poovey a technical foul but allowed Poovey to remain on the sidelines as the coach. The Cougars ended up holding off the Fort Thomas Apaches, 44-38.   

Chandler Preparatory Academy coach Shawn Lytle reported that the school notified the Arizona Interscholastic Association regarding the incident. 

On Friday, AIA Sports Information Coordinator Seth Polansky sent out emails to news organizations and reported that the AIA was made aware of the video that morning and that it has reached out to the schools and officials involved in the incident and an initial inquiry has begun.

“Everything is very preliminary at this point,” Polansky wrote in the email.  

Tara Poovey

Poovey is in her fifth season as head coach of Phoenix Christian and also serves as an administrative assistant for the Washington Elementary School District. She has been at Phoenix Christian since 2010 and also serves as the middle school’s athletic director and girl’s basketball coach.

In a 2019 interview with an ASU student journalist, Poovey said she coaches to be a “huge role model” for her players. 

“If I can be that role model, this mentor for them and be that one person in their life that they can count and look to, that’s why I do it,” she said in the interview. 

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