Mom Says Son Tried to Get NBA Autograph, Got Run Over Instead

Tamaria McRae sues Hornets guard LaMelo Ball after she says Ball ran over son's foot in Charlotte
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2024 9:40 AM CDT
Mom Sues Hornets Guard for Running Over Son's Foot
Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball stands on the court in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 13 in Memphis, Tennessee.   (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

A young basketball fan was injured while seeking an autograph from one of his favorite NBA players, and now his mom is suing. ESPN reports that Tamaria McRae filed her complaint Tuesday in North Carolina against the Charlotte Hornets and guard LaMelo Ball, alleging that Ball hit her now-12-year-old son, Angell Joseph, with his vehicle in October outside the Spectrum Center in Charlotte. McRae says she and her son, then 11, were waiting outside the arena on Oct. 7 after a fan event called "Purple and Teal Day at the Hive" when Ball's SUV emerged from inside the arena and came to a stop at a traffic light.

McRae says that Angell approached the vehicle, along with other fans, saying, "LaMelo, I love you" as he sought the player's John Hancock, per WSOC. That's when the light turned green and Ball's SUV lurched forward "in a grossly negligent and reckless manner," running over her son's foot and breaking it, per the suit. "This is his hero, his idol, and he got run over by [Ball]," the family's lawyer says, per WSOC.

McRae's suit is seeking upward of $25,000 for the bad physical pain and emotional distress she says Ball's actions caused. Per the Athletic, the family is also suing the Hornets for failing to "provide adequate security and pedestrian control measures in the Spectrum Center employee exit," according to the suit. McRae notes that Angell has had a tough time since the accident, which she says also resulted in back injuries, and as his mom, so has she. "For a while, I couldn't even recognize who my child was because, like depression," she tells WSOC. "It's been real rough. I mean, like I'm a strong person. This broke me." (More LaMelo Ball stories.)

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