Entries in Basketball (14)


Youth Basketball Coach Allegedly Bites Off Opponent's Ear

Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) -- Move over, Mike Tyson. A youth basketball coach in Springfield, Mass., has been arraigned after allegedly biting off part of the ear of an opposing team's coach at a game last Friday night, reported ABC affiliate WGGB-TV.

Timothy Forbes, 34, an assistant coach of fifth- and sixth-grade teams at Springfield's Catholic Youth Organization, is accused of attacking the coach of the winning team after a game at Holy Name School in Springfield, police told WGGB. As the players were shaking hands following the game, Forbes allegedly attempted to kick the other team's coach, and tried to punch the man in the face, Hampden County Assistant District Attorney Marie Angers told WGGB.

The other coach has only been identified as a 34-year-old man.

"While they were wrestling, [Forbes] then bit his left ear and chunk of it came off, [and] the defendant then fled," said Angers.

The injured man was taken to Baystate Medical Center, and the portion of his ear that was bitten off was later reattached, reported WGGB.

Forbes eventually turned himself in at court in Hampden County, where he was arrested and charged with assault and battery, mayhem, disorderly conduct, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, police told WGGB. He is being held without bail until another hearing, scheduled for next Friday.

Forbes' attorney, Philip Lauro, told WGGB that his client had a clean record and "has dedicated his life to coaching his boys."

But Springfield police told a different story. They said Forbes was previously arrested in the Springfield area for several crimes, including kidnapping, assault and battery and destruction of property, according to WGGB.

Attempts to reach family members at Forbes' residence were unsuccessful. Forbes' attorney, Philip Lauro, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Anthony Cignoli, spokesman for the CYO Basketball League of Western Massachusetts, told WGGB that all referees and coaches for the league -- including assistant coaches like Forbes -- go through rigorous background checks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Locked Out No More: NBA Tips Off on Christmas Day

Al Bello/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A shortened NBA season finally gets underway on Christmas Day when the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics tip off at Madison Square Garden.

“I'm very excited basketball is back,” a fan at the game told ABC News on Sunday.

Many basketball fans feared they wouldn’t see their favorite team hit the hardwood this season because of a lockout. But the NBA’s players and owners finally came to an agreement, clearing the way for a 66-game season that kicks off with five games on Christmas Day.

“I really thought there would be no season,” another fan told ABC News. “I thought the differences were too far apart money-wise and total revenue and all that.”

Fans were out in force Sunday at Madison Square Garden; many of them wore Santa hats, others waved towels and wore Knicks jerseys.

Other games slotted for Christmas Day include the Miami Heat at the Dallas Mavericks (ABC), the Chicago Bulls at the Los Angeles Lakers (ABC), Orlando at Oklahoma City (ESPN), and the LA Clippers at Golden State (ESPN).

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cincinnati Basketball Brawl Could Lead to Charges

ESPN/ABC News(CINCINNATI) -- An Ohio prosecutor is considering criminal charges in the wake of Saturday’s bench-clearing brawl between cross-city basketball rivals Cincinnati and Xavier.

Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said he would review the game to determine if criminal charges such as aggravated battery are appropriate. The two schools suspended eight players on Sunday over the incident and now their coaches are struggling to make sense of what happened.

Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin, appearing on ESPN, threatened to keep his players benched if they don’t apologize publicly: “They’re going to sit in front of a camera and say how sorry they are and how grateful they are for getting a second chance.” Cronin suggested the episode was personally humiliating. “I’ve never been this embarrassed.”

The most egregious punch was thrown by Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates, who smashed Xavier’s Kenny Frease in the face, leaving him with a swollen black eye. Cincinnati suspended Gates, junior Cheikh Mbodj and freshman Octavius Ellis for six games each. Freshman Ge’Lawn Guyn was suspended for one game. Cronin said the four suspended players will have to earn their way back on to the team.

“They have no idea of how lucky they are to even be on this team, at this school, let alone to be on scholarships,” the angry coach said.

But Xavier players defended their actions after the game. At a post-game news conference, star guard Tru Holloway complained of being “disrespected” by Cincinnati players before the game. “We got a whole lot of gangsters in the locker room, not thugs but tough on the court.”

Those words led to a one-game suspension as Xavier coach Chris Mack clearly was unhappy with Holloway’s remarks. “It was the wrong choice of words and it’s a problem and our fault for putting them up there (at a news conference) in the first place,” Mack added.

Xavier suspended three other players: Dezmine Wells, who was ejected, along with Landen Amos, and Mark Lyons. The fight led game officials to call the game with 9.4 seconds left and 8th-ranked Xavier leading 76-53.

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Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New York DA: Former Syracuse Coach Bernie Fine Can't Be Prosecuted

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Longtime Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has been fired but he may not be prosecuted for alleged sexual abuse.

The allegations against Fine are too old for him to stand trial in New York. But Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says the former ball boy and his stepbrother who have said Fine molested them are credible, and Syracuse police should have done more to encourage them to come forward.

Fine is still under investigation by federal authorities who have searched his home, office and locker for any records that detail his contact with alleged victims.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Outgoing Orlando Magic CEO Denies 'Drunk-Dialing' Star

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Orlando Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide denied he was stepping down Wednesday because of an alleged drunk dial he made to the team’s star center Dwight Howard, begging him to stay on the team for another year.

Vander Weide, 50, reportedly told Howard, who becomes a free agent at the end of the 2011-12 season, that the team would “suck” without him.

He declined to address the specifics of his conversation, but was adamant that he was not intoxicated.

“I had two, maybe three glasses of wine over three hours,” Vander Weide said. “I was not drunk.”  He added that he’s leaving to spend more time with his family.

The 21-year Magic employee, who is married to owner Rich DeVos’ daughter, said he was playing paddleball with friends a few days ago and thought it “prudent” to return several calls and texts Howard had sent him.

“Maybe Dwight thought it was inappropriate to talk business after a couple of glasses of wine…Maybe I should have waited until the morning,” Vander Weide told the Bright House Sports Network.

Howard, 25, is reportedly weighing his options for next season.

“We think this is the right place for Dwight and we’ll do everything to prove that to him,” team owner Rich DeVos said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Businesses Struggle with Impact of NBA Lockout

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- With the entire NBA season now in jeopardy, restaurants and bars around basketball arenas that are already struggling through the basketball lockout are looking at the potential of a very long winter.

It has been estimated that just the first 30 cancelled games have cost Los Angeles businesses $40 million.  Without the Lakers or Clippers playing at the Staples Center the large crowds have disappeared.

It’s not all bad news though.  At the Bottle Rock Wine Bar and Restaurant down the street from the Staples Center, General Manager Corwyn Anthony tells ABC News Radio they are getting creative.

“People are now able to book little parties, bridal showers, and business meetings,” explains Anthony.  He says locals who have typically stayed away from the neighborhood during the NBA season are now spending money and they usually spend much more than NBA fans who are often from out of town. 

The Staples Center has been making up for lost basketball by adding concerts like Katy Perry when there would have been games.  Parking attendants say they have not noticed a huge decline in business because of the ongoing concerts.  Taxi drivers say they are still getting business from high end hotels like a J.W. Marriott and a Ritz Carton next door to the Staples Center.

But in Memphis, Tennessee, it’s a different story.  The restaurants around FedEx Forum haven’t been able to turn things around quite as well.  Ty Agee owns a bar and he says when the Grizzlies are playing it means cash in his pocket.  “It’s worth, you know, 30 to 40 percent sales of the day,” Agee tells us.  Now that money is gone.  The Grizzles have also laid off seven employees.

Other arenas around the country say they too are hurting.  Some arenas are now being rented out for special events like weddings to make up for lost cash. 

But back in Los Angeles, Staples Center owner AEG, which is also a concert promoter, has been able to fill lost basketball dates with performances.  And restaurant executives like Corwyn Anthony actually like the local business they’re getting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Michigan High School Team Wins One for Fallen Basketball Star

Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision(FENNVILLE, Mich.) -- A Michigan boys’ basketball team was victorious Monday in its first game since the tragic death of Fennville High School star player Wes Leonard.

Despite the victory, the team hasn't gotten over the shock of losing Leonard, who collapsed shortly after sinking the winning basket March 3 in the Blackhawks' last regular season contest.

Doctors said that the 16-year-old died from cardiac arrest caused by an enlarged heart.

Shortly before Monday's tip-off at Hope College's DeVos Fieldhouse, the 3,400 spectators stood for a moment of silence in memory of Leonard.  The game was attended by the boy's parents, his younger brother and 100 other family members.

Fennville then went on to defeat Lawrence, 65 to 54, in the opener of the Class C state tournament.  Adam Siegel scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the way.

The Blackhawks next play Bangor in Wednesday’s district semifinal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Another Teen Athlete Collapses, Dies

Comstock/Thinkstock(TIMNATH, Colo.) -- An autopsy was to be performed Sunday on a 17-year-old boy who collapsed and died Saturday during a rugby match in Timnath, Colorado.

Matthew Hammerdorfer of Fort Collins, Colo., collapsed and was airlifted to a nearby medical center where he later died. The Larimer County, Colo., coroner is expected to perform an autopsy to determine a cause of death.

The incident comes just days after Wes Leonard, a 16-year-old Michigan high school basketball player collapsed and died after hitting a game-winning shot to complete his team's perfect season. It was later determined that Leonard died of an enlarged heart.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dismissal of Basketball Player Supported By BYU's Mormon Students

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(PROVO, Utah) -- Sports-mad students at Brigham Young University were stunned that the team's star basketball player was dismissed for violating the school's honor code -- reportedly by having premarital sex -- but said Thursday they think it was right thing to do and endorse the strict code. Brandon Davies, 19, a forward for the red-hot Cougars, admitted a failure to live up to the honor code and has been axed from the team for the remainder of the season, according to a statement from the BYU Athletics Department.

The university did not reveal the nature of Davies' violation, but the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Davies told the college he had sex with his girlfriend.

The BYU honor code stipulates that students must "be honest, live a chaste and virtuous life…use clean language" and abstain from alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, and drugs. It also bars gambling, use of pornography and homosexual behavior, though "feelings or attraction" are allowed.

The tough action by the school is in stark contrast to the anything-goes attitude among much of top ranked college athletics as well as the social attitudes on most college campuses.

Davies, a sophomore who is a Mormon and a Utah native, is still a student a t BYU. According to a statement from BYU Athletics, he had started 26 of 29 games this season and averaged 11.1 points.

The team has climbed up the rankings to No. 3 in the country, but in its first game without Davies, it lost badly to unranked New Mexico by a score of 82-64.

Nevertheless, Cougar fans said Thursday that they supported they supported the school's decision.

"It was absolutely the right thing to do. We uphold the honor code. There are things that are more important than winning a basketball game," said Eric Christensen, 25, a BYU graduate student in information systems.

Matthew Sayer, 24, currently on leave from BYU, said he was an intense Cougars fan who was disappointed by Davies' actions.

"I loved him," Sayer said. But he fully supported the university. "The rules are the rules. In college you're supposed to know better," Sayer said.

"I think it sends a very clear message about the values we support here," said his brother Ryan, 27, who is studying for his masters in physics. "The values definitely include no sexual relations outside of marriage."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coach Who Kicked and Pushed Player Resigns

Photo Courtesy - Holy Family University(PHILADELPHIA) -- A college basketball player who accused his Holy Family University coach of pushing and kicking him during a practice session suffered a torn ligament in his wrist as a result of the incident that was captured on video, the player's lawyer said Friday.

The coach, John O'Connor decided to resign after his apology to former player Matt Kravchuk was rebuffed this week on ABC's Good Morning America. Kravchuk, 19, had filed a police report.

O'Connor, 51, whom the Pennsylvania school had suspended because of the accusation, formally resigned Thursday after learning that prosecutors agreed not to press charges against him.

Jack Cohen, Kravchuk's attorney, said, "My client's feeling is that the DA makes the decisions if there's enough for a criminal count. They made that decision and he takes that as it is."

"Matthew was diagnosed with a TFC tear in his wrist and will require surgery. It is from the assault."

The Kravchuk family has no plans to sue for the injury, Cohen said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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