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Queensbridge teen’s coach fired after trying to memorialize her

TimesLedger Newspapers

Kasim Alston has been fired as the Bishop Loughlin varsity girls’ basketball coach after leading the school to the state Federation Class A title last season, he told TimesLedger Newspapers. Assistant Coach Chez Williams was promoted to the head job.

Alston got into a heated argument at a Sept. 17 coaches’ meeting with athletic director Angela Proce over the direction of the second annual Chicken Stop the Violence Classic, a one-day girls’ basketball event in memory of Tayshana “Chicken” Murphy, Alston’s goddaughter and a former Loughlin player, who was shot dead Sept. 11, 2011.

According to Alston, Proce abruptly told him the school would have hosted a stop-the-violence-themed event in December, but did not want Murphy’s name associated with it. Upon hearing that, Alston lost his temper and told Proce that “the school wasn’t [expletive],” Alston said.

Proce told Principal James Dorney and Alston was eventually fired Sept. 24.

“I’m like Chicken’s father,” said Alston, who was set to start his third season as head coach. “I lost a loved one. Maybe [Proce] didn’t mean to come off the way she did, but she came at it the wrong way.”

Loughlin didn’t host last year’s event, which was at Nazareth. Murphy was expelled from the school after getting into a fight at a boys’ basketball game midway through her sophomore year in 2010, but the team dedicated its title run to her last season.

Alston would have liked a chance to discuss the continuation of what he hoped would be an annual game. Instead, he became the second consecutive coach fired after winning the state Federation Class A crown. Molloy’s Tom Catalanotto was dismissed in 2011.

“We could have set up something, had a meeting,” Alston said. “Then she could have told me how she felt .... To me ... they still hold a grudge for something Chicken did in 10th-grade.”

Proce referred all comment to Dorney, who refused to discuss the incident, the reason for Alston’s departure and the school’s stance toward Murphy. He did say he appreciated what Alston did for the school during his six years there and wished him the best.

“That’s not anything I would discuss with people on the outside,” Dorney said. “Anything we do here is internal.”

Dorney would not comment on whether he was happy with Alston’s achievements on the court. Alston won a Brooklyn/Queens Division II junior varsity title and helped guide the program to success after a winless season under former Coach Rocco Romano in 2010. Dorney also disputed Alston’s claim that the school has not done anything for the players after winning a state title, something Alston voiced at the school’s awards dinner.

“We did,” Dorney said. “But again that’s internal things that we do and I wouldn’t go into detail.”

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