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She sues, she scores — Teen girl finally plays on boys basketball team

Sydney Phillips
Sydney Phillips (Courtesy of the Phillips family)

KENILWORTH — Sydney Phillips got what she wanted on Sunday — to play basketball for the only school she’s ever known.

The 13-year-old played for St. Theresa’s School on Sunday, her first and only regular season game for the Stallions after a judge on Friday cleared the way for her to play.

“She was accepted by her team very well. She played very good for the pressure she was under. She hit four points and had a couple nice passes,” her father, Scott Phillips, told New Jersey 101.5.

“It was a packed house. The boys championship team came back from last year to support her,” Scott Phillips said. Nearly every seventh-grade girl from St. Theresa’s did the same, he said.

The Stallions have at least one more game in the CYO playoffs on Saturday, according to Scott Phillips, who said Sydney will have her first practice with the team on Monday.

Judge David Kessler reversed his initial decision on Friday, allowing the 13-year-old girl to play on the St. Theresa’s boys team. Her parents sued the school after officials refused to allow her on the team when her girls team was disbanded.

Judge clears way for NJ girl to play on Catholic school's boys team

His ruling was influenced by Newark Archbishop Joseph Tobin’s decision earlier in the week to allow two girls to continue to play on the St. John’s boys team in Clark, which had become embroiled in their own roster problem.

Archdiocese spokesman Jim Goodness said the archdiocese would abide by Kessler’s ruling.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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