New Jersey

NJ Family Sues to Allow Girl to Play on Boys Basketball Team

The family of a New Jersey girl is asking a court to order her school to allow her to play on the boys basketball team.

The lawsuit comes after seventh grader Sydney Phillips was told by St. Theresa School in Kenilworth that there aren’t enough girls to form a girls team and she can't play with the boys. 

“They don’t want me playing on the team because they know I’m better than them. I beat them all the time playing one-on-ones,” Sydney said.

Sydney’s older brother Brian can still beat her, but Sydney says she’s determined to play at the school she has attended her whole life.

When Sydney’s dad Scott Phillips asked why his daughter couldn’t play on the boys team, he says he was told, “Boys play with boys, girls play with girls.”

“It has to start being more equal. We have to come with the times,” Scott Phillips said.

Not everyone agrees. One parishioner said she was all for girls playing sports – but not on the boys team.

“You can’t turn around and start making girls or boys, whatever it is. You want a boy on the team?” parent Mary Michitsch said. 

The Archdiocese of Newark did not comment since a lawsuit has been filed. Sydney's father said the family isn't asking for money, just the chance for her to play. 

Public schools are different than private schools. Girls can play on boys teams, especially when there is no female league or female teams, as is the case with football and wrestling. But boys can never play on girls teams. 

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