- Associated Press - Monday, July 7, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Charlotte Hornets rookie guard P.J. Hairston is scheduled to appear in Durham County Court next month on misdemeanor charges of assault and battery following an altercation at a pickup basketball game on Sunday.

Paul Sherwin, the public information officer for the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, said Hairston, 21, was issued a summons on Monday but will not be arrested.

Hairston, who practiced with the Hornets on Monday, issued a statement through the team apologizing to the organization and its fans for “creating a distraction.”

“As this is now a legal matter, I cannot comment on the situation any further,” Hairston said. “I am truly sorry for any embarrassment that I have caused.”

The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Hairston’s court date is Aug. 8.

“If two people get into a fight in North Carolina and there is no serious injury and is not witnessed by an officer, our hands are tied,” Sherwin said. “We don’t charge people in (unwitnessed) fistfights. They have to file a report with the magistrate office.”

Kentrell Barkley, a 6-5, 190-pound 17-year-old senior at North Durham High School, said in court documents Hairston “punched him twice in the head” during a heated basketball game at the Durham YMCA.

Barkley’s guardian Rich Phillips told The Associated Press that Barkley has a knot on his forehead from one punch. He said Barkley was also punched in the neck.

Phillips said he has not hired an attorney and the incident isn’t about money.

“This is about doing the right thing and Kentrell feeling like he was violated,” Phillips said. Hairston “did this kid wrong. Kentrell is 17 years old and what happened just isn’t right.”

Phillips‘ son, Vince, said he was at the Durham YMCA shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday when the game began to get heated. He said Hairston became annoyed after his team had lost several games in a row to Barkley’s team.

Vince Phillips said Hairston dribbled down the court with his left hand and punched Barkley with his other in the head before driving to the basket.

“That’s when KB came up to him and said, ‘What’d you do that for?’” Phillips said. “Then P.J. cocks his arm back and hits KB in the neck.”

The two were quickly separated before Barkley could retaliate, according to Phillips. He said Hairston left the gymnasium before police arrived.

Barkley, a regular at the Durham YMCA, agreed with his friend’s account of the story.

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