Coach calls foul on poorly equipped Vegas women’s basketball tournament

Published on: November 27, 2022, 12:31 p.m.

Last updated: November 27, 2022, 12:31 p.m.

Indiana Hoosiers women’s basketball coach Teri Moren was shocked when she arrived at The Mirage this weekend to watch the build-up to this weekend’s Las Vegas Invitational, according to multiple reports. The tournament was held in a ballroom with folding chairs for the audience instead of grandstands. Even more inexcusably for a professional sporting event, there were no security personnel or paramedics on hand.

Indiana Hoosiers coach Teri Moren
Indiana Hoosiers coach Teri Moren said a tournament at The Mirage this weekend took women’s basketball “back a few steps.” (Image: si.com)

“I’ve played ballrooms before,” Moren said ESPN. “I don’t want there to be the idea that playing in ballrooms is dangerous. But in this particular event, there were a lot of things that needed to be better.”

Lack of paramedics close proved dangerous on Saturday when Auburn Tigers shortstop Kharyssa Richardson hit the floor with four minutes left against Colorado State, appearing to hit her head. It took EMTs 50 minutes to get to the scene and treat her.

Richardson was taken to a local hospital, but Auburn — which won the game 74-73 — tweeted that she was alert and responsive.

A day earlier, another injury was suffered by Indiana guard Grace Berger when an Auburn Tigers player collided with her right leg one minute into the game. The Hoosiers star guard sat on the bench with ice on his knee and was kept out of Saturday’s 79-64 win over the Memphis Tigers.

“I think any good tournament has EMTs and all that, medical professionals on site,” Moren said ESPN. “And once again, that was not the case. Another big miss for this tournament. There were many things that should have been better and just weren’t. I was very frustrated watching that moment for Auburn.”

Breach of floor

Moren pointed out ESPN correspondence the school had in March with tournament director Bryce McKey, who promised the Hoosiers the setup would resemble the professional women’s league Athletes Unlimited. This took place between Jan. 25 and Feb. 15, 2022 at the Sports Center of Las Vegas.

But site coordinator Ryan Polk said ESPN that the tournament organizers realized too late that this was not the case.

“We’re very sorry,” Polk said. “The court document and the lighting, those things were not a difficulty. However, we wanted to have full gradations. We have now informed The Mirage that we cannot come again…”

Moren said ESPN that there were “other people who probably need to apologize” for what happened this weekend. In a separate Zoom interview with sports reporters, she went so far as to say that the tournament had taken women’s basketball “a few steps back.”

“We’re trying to move our game forward,” she said on that call. “We have an obligation to up our game and we completely missed that opportunity.”

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