Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma is gearing up for training camp with the U.S. women’s national team, which begins July 14 in Washington, D.C.
But now the coaching legend is also gearing up to defend himself against a lawsuit.
Kelley Hardwick, an NBA security official, has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit saying she was removed from an assignment for the 2012 London Olympics after she spurned an advance from Auriemma.
Auriemma called the claims “beyond false” and said he would defend himself “to the fullest.” The lawsuit names Auriemma, the NBA and USA Basketball as defendants.
Hardwick, a former New York police department detective who has worked for NBA security since 2002, says she first met Auriemma while managing security for the U.S. women’s national team on a 2009 trip to Russia. According to the lawsuit, Auriemma joined a conversation between Hardwick and a co-worker at a hotel lounge, then followed Harwick to the door of her hotel room where he tried to kiss her.
“Plaintiff was startled but, utilizing her training as a police officer and security professional, reacted quickly by shoving him away and stating, ‘What are you doing? You better check yourself before you get hurt!’” the suit says.
Harwick said she informed her supervisors of the incident but nothing came of it. In March, Hardwick said she was told about a conference call in which Auriemma demanded to NBA officials that she be removed from the team’s security staff for the 2012 Olympics.
Harwick also says in her lawsuit that she was denied promotions, raises and employment opportunities by the NBA because of her gender.