Judge's order puts Orthodox Jewish basketball team back in semifinal game
An Orthodox Jewish school in Texas has been reinstated to its state basketball tournament following a judge's order to reschedule the game so it doesn't conflict with the Sabbath.
The Houston-based Beren Academy Stars stormed into the semifinals of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools' 2A tournament and was set to tip off against Dallas Covenant at 9 p.m. Friday. Beren players, however, observe the Sabbath between Friday evening and Saturday evening and will not play basketball during those hours, coach Chris Cole told FoxNews.com.
"We're excited that we get to play," Cole said Thursday when reached by phone. "We feel like it's something that our kids have earned."
Cole said he was disappointed that it took a judge's order to switch the game time, but feels the right outcome has been reached. The team will hold a closed practice tonight.
"We just really want to get back our focus and get ready for the game," he said. "We'll be ready."
TAPPS officials had rejected appeals from Beren to reschedule that game, but a group of parents with boys on the team subsequently sued the organization. A judge on Thursday now issued a temporary restraining order requiring the agency to reschedule the game.
TAPPS director Ed Burleson told FoxNews.com on Thursday that the association will honor the restraining order and allow Beren to play 2 p.m. Friday. An exact location had yet to be determined, he said.
In a statement to FoxNews.com, officials at Kerrville Our Lady of the HillsHigh School -- which was to play in Beren's absence -- said they support the scheduling change.
"As Beren Academy expressed support for us playing in their stead, we share our support of them in their earned Semi-Final game," the statement read. "Good Luck Stars!"
Cole told FoxNews.com on Wednesday that he was hopeful a last-minute compromise could be reached.
"We know that every day gets later and later, but we feel like things could be changed," Cole said. "We operate in a world of sports where things do change -- the Daytona 500 was changed, so things are possible. It's an inconvenience, we know that, but it's really a matter of desire to want to do it. That's what it comes down to."