Basketball: Jackson detained after attacking Ramle player
By JERUSALEM POST STAFFPublished: APRIL 29, 2007 00:37Advertisement
Anda Ramat Hasharon's Deanna Jackson was arrested and detained for assaulting an opponent in the parking lot following a loss in the deciding game of the women's national championship series, police said Friday.
Jackson, who plays for the WNBA's Chicago Sky, was arrested Wednesday night for attacking Elitzur Ramle guard Ina Gourevitch after the 81-68 defeat.
The two players had got into a skirmish and shouted insults at each other toward the end of the game.
Police said the clash spilled into the parking lot, where Jackson sought out Gourevitch and punched her, breaking her nose.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the 27-year-old Jackson was arrested and her passport was confiscated.
"After the game was over, she [Jackson] attacked one of the players on the other team and punched her in the face," Rosenfeld said. "She was arrested and questioned, and is awaiting charges and trial."
The Chicago Sky announced Friday that Jackson has been suspended indefinitely. "We are shocked and embarrassed by this incident, especially since it is completely out of character for Deanna," team owner Michael Alter said in a statement. "But it has no place in the WNBA or the Chicago Sky."
Alter said team officials "spoke with Deanna's agent yesterday, who confirmed that she struck Gourevitch after a game."
Jackson will have to stay in Israel until at least May 3, when she next will appear in court, and will miss the Chicago Sky's preseason opener.
Jackson is also facing a civil suit. On Thursday, Gourevitch filed a lawsuit against Jackson seeking NIS 80,000 in damages.
In a statement released by her Israeli team, Jackson was contrite. "I did not mean to harm Ina Gourevitch and I apologize to her," she said. "I've never acted this way - it's uncharacteristic of me and I hope that it is now behind me."
Ramle chairman Shmulik Levkovitz said the incident tarnished Wednesday's game and the entire season. "It leaves a bad taste in the mouth," he said.
"With all the competitiveness of the game, we have never had any violence before. This was just so uncalled for."
The WNBA regular season lasts just three months with salaries ranging from about $31,000 to $90,000, so players often play for foreign teams to supplement their income.
Seventeen WNBA players spent the offseason in Israel this year to earn about $80,000.
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