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Complaint: Basketball Coach, Rick Adelman's Son, Taught Players Insanely Misguided Race Lesson

Illustration for article titled Complaint: Basketball Coach, Rick Adelmans Son, Taught Players Insanely Misguided Race Lesson

Four parents of Lincoln High School (Portland, Ore.) basketball players have filed a complaint against varsity coach Pat Adelman, alleging that Adelman called white players racists during a halftime tongue-lashing, and demeaned two black players by making their teammates touch them, according to Willamette Week.


The incident is alleged to have occurred during a Jan. 12 junior varsity game against Jefferson High School after Adelman, the adopted son of longtime NBA coach Rick Adelman, didn’t think the white players were being aggressive enough:

A complaint filed by four Lincoln parents says coach Pat Adelman wanted Lincoln’s white players to compete more aggressively in a Jan. 12 game against their black opponents at Jefferson High School. In an expletive-filled rant, he allegedly called the Lincoln JV players “racists” and afraid to touch black students, then pulled two black students into the locker room and demanded the white players touch them.

“Does that make you like black people now?” Adelman allegedly asked the players.

Adelman also allegedly interrogated the players about whether they had any black friends, and made a confusing quip about them needing a flashlight to see their black friends in the dark:

The complaint says Adelman, who’s not the JV coach, burst into the locker room, berated players and told them they were losing because they were “afraid to touch black students.”

Adelman, 28, then singled out two black players, one from the Lincoln varsity team and one from the freshman squad, and demanded that the JV players touch them. Adelman then allegedly questioned the JV players about whether they had any black friends.

“Well, do you keep a flashlight handy when you have sleepovers with them?” he allegedly asked the players.


While a Portland Public Schools spokesperson told the Willamette Week that an investigation into the incident is ongoing, the paper obtained a Jan. 22 email in which one of the parents involved said she received a letter that stated Adelman had been reinstated to his position after six days of paid leave.

If the allegations are true, this won’t be the first, or second, or even third ugly incident involving one of Rick Adelman’s adult children, a number of whom are (or were) Portland-area high school coaches:

A third Lincoln coach also made headlines in 2009: Pat Adelman’s older brother David, then Lincoln’s boys’ varsity basketball coach.

Portland Police arrested David Adelman for driving under the influence of alcohol after a private investigator hired by a disgruntled parent of a player tracked Adelman and called 911.

David Adelman kept his job, although it was his second DUII arrest. (His sister Kathryn Adelman Naro wasn’t so lucky. She resigned from her job as the girls’ basketball coach at Jesuit High School in 2009 after her second DUII arrest.)

[Willamette Week]

Photo via Shutterstock


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