Muir senior Deshawn Hayes, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who was averaging 18.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 assists, has been dismissed from the team.
Muir (14-8, 7-5) is on the verge of making a deep playoff run as the Mustangs are the No. 2 team in CIF-Southern Section Division 5AA. Muir coach Gamal Smalley cited “repeated violations of team rules” but declined to give specific details that led to his dismissal.
“I am very disappointed for Deshawn, as he is one of the most athletic players in our area but he did not do everything he needed to do to be a part of our basketball program,” Smalley said.
“Hayes did not comply with our standards on multiple occasions and missed a total of five games, four of which were during league play, this season.”
Smalley said Hayes was given numerous chances.
“You never just want to snatch this away from a kid without doing everything possible, but he didn’t comply,” said Smalley, in his second season at the helm. “We did give him a lot of chances, and unfortunately we had to let him go.
“I talked it over with administration over the weekend and we decided we exhausted all of our chances.”
The loss of Hayes will be a big blow on the court. He is an athletic guard who elevates with ease and has a soft-shooting mid-range jump shot. As Muir moves forward, others will have to slip into roles and pick up the scoring slack, among them are junior forward Tevin Polk and junior guard Dion Nelson.
“As a basketball coach and a mentor you can’t focus everything on just winning,” Smalley said. “There has to be ethical accountability. Character issues come into play and we must follow our code of conduct. Without that what are we really teaching? We hope we can give life lessons that will help the rest of his life.”