Bishop Loughlin’s varsity girls basketball coach Kasim Alston was fired following a heated argument with the school’s athletic director — but the embattled instructor says he was merely sticking up for a fallen former student he had close ties to.
Alston said he was let go after he protested Loughlin Athletic Director Angela Proce’s decision not to name this year’s stop the violence basketball event after Tayshana “Chicken” Murphy, Alston’s goddaughter and a former Loughlin player who was gunned down in Harlem’s Grant Houses last year.
Proce told Alston that the school would host the one-day basketball classic, as long as Murphy’s name wasn’t attached. Murphy had attended Loughlin, but was expelled from the school after getting into a fight at a boys basketball game in 2010. She was attending Murray Bergtrum High School when she was killed.
“This school isn’t s—,” Alston said at the Sept. 17 meeting. Proce allegedly relayed the insult to principal James Dorney, who quickly replaced Alston with assistant coach Chez Williams.
Alston, who was set to start his third season as head coach, claims he was fired for protecting a loved one.
“I’m like Chicken’s father,” said Alston. “Maybe Proce didn’t mean to come off the way she did, but she came at it the wrong way. To me it looks like they’re still hold a grudge for something Chicken did in 10th grade”
Loughlin didn’t host last year’s basketball classic, which was held at Nazareth High School instead. Alston wants the classic to be an annual game.
Proce referred all comment to Dorney, who refused to discuss the incident.
“It’s not anything I would discuss with people on the outside,” Dorney said. “Anything we do here is internal.”
The principal wished Alston well, but refused to comment on whether he was happy with the coach’s achievements on the court. Alston won a junior varsity title and helped guide the program to success after the team suffered a winless 2010 season under former coach Rocco Romano.