Donnie Boyce (File 2014)

Donnie Boyce, the highly esteemed former Proviso East basketball star and currently the school’s varsity men’s basketball coach, has been suspended after cell phone camera footage showed him apparently choking a female student at the school.

Although authorities reportedly came across the footage on Monday, December 15, the incident occurred that previous Friday. The footage shows Boyce, wearing a yellow uniform shirt, with his hands around the neck of junior Nikerrah Walker as he attempts to diffuse a verbal altercation in which the girl is involved.

Walker, who is asthmatic, claimed that she couldn’t breathe while Boyce’s hands were around her neck. After the girl’s mother saw the footage, she pressured the school administration to punish Boyce, who is currently on paid leave while the district conducts an investigation into the matter. During leave, Boyce won’t be allowed to engage in any coaching duties, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The footage has made its way into national media outlets, such as USA Today and Deadspin — mostly due to Boyce’s involvement.

“Boyce was a collegiate star at Colorado and was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks, for whom he competed for two years,” notes the USA Today article. “As a coach at Proviso East he led the program to the state finals in 2011-12 and the state semifinals in 2012-13, both times eliminated by a Jabari Parker-led Simeon High squad.

“There has been no word on any timetable related to any potential dismissal or return to the school for Boyce. In the meantime, the team’s assistant coach, Cedric McCullough, will be expected to lead the Pirates on the court.”VFP

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