If you haven't already heard, the Georgetown Men's basketball team had an international incident in the first game of their four-game trip to China this week. They took the court against the Bayi Rockets in Beijing and a shoving match between two players quickly escalated into a bench-clearing brawl.
With over 9 minutes left in the game, John Thompson III pulled his player and coaches off the court at the Olympic Sports Center Stadium as spectators tossed full water bottles at the court. The score was tied at 64, and the players would not return to complete the game.
Georgetown senior center Henry Sims had a chair tossed at him by an unidentified person, and freshman forward Moses Ayegba, who was wearing a brace on his sore right ankle, walked onto the court with a chair in his right hand. According to Georgetown officials, Ayegba had been struck, prompting him to grab a chair in self-defense.
It was the second time both benches emptied in physical game marred by fouls. By halftime, Bayi had 11 fouls while Georgetown had 28.
Immediately before the fighting began, Bayi forward-center Hu Ke was called for a foul against Georgetown’s Jason Clark. The senior guard clearly took exception to the hard foul and said so to Hu, triggering an exchange of shoves.
Hoya fans blame lopsided officiating for the incident, but is that an excuse? Blown calls happen in most games, players at the college level should be used to that fact by now. Besides, what is the point of getting so upset about an exhibition anyway?
Head coach John Thompson III released the following statement on the incident:
"Tonight, two great teams played a very competitive game that unfortunately ended after heated exchanges with both teams. We sincerely regret that this situation occurred.
"We remain grateful for the opportunity our student-athletes are having to engage in a sport they love here in China, while strengthening their understanding of a nation we respect and admire at Georgetown University."