Every player on West Charlotte's state championship girls basketball team may not be able to get her state ring.
The Lions beat nationally ranked East Meck and Butler on back-to-back nights to reach the state championship game last month, then stopped Durham Hillside with a furious fourth quarter rush in the championship game. It was the first girls basketball state title in West Charlotte's 71-year history.
Lions athletics director Masanori Toguchi said the school was able to cover half the cost of the $200 rings, but had "serious concerns" that some players wouldn't be able to raise their half. Toguchi said he tried to raise the remaining funds by trying to get local businesses to buy banners to be shown at school athletic events but current economic conditions prevented those businesses from doing so.
"We don't make that much money off tickets so we're trying to do the best we can right now," Toguchi said.
One Lions parent said the team's eight seniors, faced with fees to cover senior packages, college applications and proms, were particularly stressed.
"Money is tight for everyone," the parent said, "and I find it truly heartbreaking that these young ladies worked very hard and overcame so much to win, and now they have been told that if they don't have money they cannot get their prize."