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High school basketball player punches ref after dispute over foul

32 Comments

A 15-year-old exchange student who was playing in a high school basketball game punched a referee in the mouth during a Kyushu basketball tournament in Omura, Nagasaki Prefecture.

The incident occurred on June 17 during the semifinal between Miyazaki Prefecture’s Nobeoka Gakuen High School, for whom the student plays, and Ohori High School, which is affiliated with Fukuoka University.

During the last minute of the game, Ohori was leading 78-66, when the referee called a foul against the student, his third of the game, Fuji TV reported. The student disputed the call, yelled at the referee and then punched him in the mouth.

Tournament officials said the referee was taken to hospital where he received 10 stitches to his mouth.

Following the incident, Nokeoka Gakuen forfeited the game and issued an apology to the referee and spectators. The student also apologized later to the referee. Police were called to the arena but the referee decided later not to press assault charges.

Local media quoted one spectator as saying, “Something like that shouldn’t happen on a basketball court,” while another said, “The referee was repeatedly calling fouls on the exchange student and his frustration might have just built up to the point where he exploded.”

The student, who reportedly does not speak Japanese, had recently been taking a break from basketball practice and said he wanted to go back to his home country (Democratic Republic of Congo).

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32 Comments
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Interesting. Cultural difference. In Japan coaches, teachers and referees can slap, punch, kick and abuse students and athletes, not the other way around.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Something like that shouldn’t happen on a basketball court

Really? I thought it was supposed to er

The referee was repeatedly calling fouls on the exchange student and his frustration might have just built up to the point where he exploded

It was only his third foul and the game almost over. Players are allowed 5. That is not "repeatedly"

8 ( +12 / -4 )

With that right hook,maybe he should take up boxing instead.It was a beauty of a hook.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Well, sounds like he's going back to his home country now, like it or not. I'm sure that'll be (was) one of the conditions for the ref not having pressed charges.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@ Reckless: I've heard that before and I'm having difficulty to comprehend that. Does that (usually) really happen? It seems kinda contradictory to the usual Japanese school teacher

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Something like that shouldn’t happen on a basketball court

"Really? I thought it was supposed to er"

Errr, the spectator was referring to the punch. Let me help you.

Something like that shouldn’t happen on a basketball court.

In this case, the word" that" refers to the punch thrown by the African Student,

In grammatical terms, "that" is a demonstrative pronoun.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

No no.  The hidden message in this whole article is that this bloke is a foreigner.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

From J news: this battered referee apparently expressed his hope for the kid to stay in Japan and “not to hate Japan”.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I wonder what the Japanese people in stands now think of foreigners particularly black foreigners?

Well, hopefully they are not generalising about an entire continent because of the poor/aggressive actions of one kid. Unlike some people here would...

The ref sounds like a good citizen for "turning the other cheek". Referees in most sports have a thankless task at the best of times.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@Toshihiro When I worked in Japanese high schools in the eighties I regularly saw teachers hitting students - it seemed to be accepted as normal and hardly worthy of comment. I even saw on a couple of occasions senior teachers hitting junior teachers when scolding them for what they perceived as some work infraction. I'm sure it's a lot less likely these days, although I'm happy to be corrected on that. I haven't been in a Japanese high school for thirty years.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

(Sarcasm alert) I wonder, did his coach tell him to go for it? Hell his team was losing, and the guy wanted to make a great impression right?

(Serious comment warning) I don't give a rats but where the guy comes from, he should face charges, be taken down to the cop shop, go through the process, and then if the ref chooses not to press charges, let him go. He is not learning anything by being let off the hook.

Foreigner or otherwise, there are rules and lines that should never be crossed and sportsmanship has no color barriers!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Econostats, I agree entirely. Its obvious. I cant understand why you got all those down votes. What youre saying s true.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

The shape of things to come when the immigrants start flooding in.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Econostats, I agree entirely. Its obvious. I cant understand why you got all those down votes. What youre saying s true.

Define "true"?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

"The shape of things to come when the immigrants start flooding in."

Don't worry. Japan won't let in any immigrants. The guest workers can't stay in Japan forever. They can only stay for 5 years and they can't bring any kids.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I wonder how much "gomen money" the ref got?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

econostats, That policy of the japanese government is extremely wise. I give them full points for that. The disease of PC hasnt tainted japanese policy making.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Did Ohuri know the kid sucks at basketball or jut assume "he's black, so..."?

With a minute left, and down 12 points, they already lost, so rather pointless to care about fouls. As well as the fact you are a 15 year old from the Congo - should be greatful you can do anything other than being a child soldier.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Number 1... you should never punch a Ref.... that said, we do not know the full story. Suppose this Ref was always officiating games and the guy had, prior to this game, called a bunch of fouls on the kid. As usual, we do not know the real full story.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

 ...prior to this game, called a bunch of fouls on the kid. As usual, we do not know the real full story.

It wouldn’t matter if he did, striking someone is not only unacceptable, it is also a crime. Had the referee pressed charges, the kid would already be in the process of being deported. Japan does not waste time or money trying foreigners for crimes, they simply show them the door, and close it tightly behind them.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Exchange student, about sums it up.

And zero excuses for why he punched the referee.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Wish all countries' coaches would forfeit games for violence and blatant disregard for rules from its players and issue apology. It would make all sports more civil knowing with players knowing the coach will forfeit the game if they act up. Extend that to those rooting for the team too.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I bet he was bullied before.....by someone in authority. It appears to me this fellow needs help (counselling) not punishment.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Come on now. You hear this immature stuff happening all the time in the USA. Are you telling me that this stupidity is rubbing off on Japanese society too?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

oldman_13Today 10:13 pm JSTExchange student, about sums it up.

And zero excuses for why he punched the referee.

America had some NBA player try to choke his coach over something idiotic like this. The NRA finally had enough of his unsportsmanlike behavior and canned him. Now he moans + groans all day long for ruining his athletic career by acting like a street hood-ish childish idiot. Name withheld.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's 'NBA', not 'NRA'. My error.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

An exchange student? I do not think any Japanese student from the school goes to Congo as an exchange student. Miyazaki Gakuen is a private school and the school's basketball team became strong suddenly by inviting African students to their team and won a national championship in the past. Many private high schools today do the same thing to make their basketball teams strong and to make the school name popular for the purpose of gathering students to the schools under the situation Japan is getting less children. Since the trend happened, a power map of high school basketball of Japan changed a lot. Public high schools cannot invite students from abroad to strengthen their athletic teams. I do not think it is fair to have tall players from Africa only for the purpose to win. They are not coming to Japan to study but to send money to their family in Africa.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I checked Miyazaki Prefecture Education Committee and confirmed he is not an exchange student. The school invited him as a player. Correction: It is Nobeoka Gakuen rather than Miyazaki Gakuen. It is my mistake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Toshihiro: I worked at a high school in Oita in the 90's and saw a male teacher make s full palm slap across the side of the head of a senior boy who was then completely humiliated. On another occasion a teacher slapped some boys for being late returning to the buses at an amusement park which was partly my fault unfortunately.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I saw the foul the kid was called for on YouTube. More like some kind of attempt at an ippon in Judo. I don’t buy that the kid was upset having a foul called. The foul was too obvious.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Address this as a national societal social issue starting from parenting to education and government controlled policies and procedures in dealing with personal relationships and responsibility. It is a nationwide problem as a change in Japanese culture and social telationships influenced by using laws to "control" behavior.

It also comes from the reliance of so called parents on others to teach and educate their children, all the while placing responsibility and blame on them. The word "hogosha" used in schools actually means "legal guardian" or "guardian" and NOT parents. And sadly parents often participate in PTA as hogosha and not as parents responsible for their children. And they are asked to do those volunteer things the schools cannot do for themselves because of manpower or funds shortages, thinking that it is good for their children and the school.

Do parents actually "know" and "understand" and "appreciate" what "values and thinking processes are being taught by the teachers they rely on..?

There is difference between passing school tests and passing "life's" tests.

There is also a difference between educated knowledge and skills and "wisdom".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SaikoPhysco - Number 1... you should never punch a Ref.... that said, we do not know the full story. Suppose this Ref was always officiating games and the guy had, prior to this game, called a bunch of fouls on the kid. As usual, we do not know the real full story.

"The real full story"??? A 15 year old psycho physically assaulted a referee. This basketball star/special student/privileged athlete should have been arrested, jailed, and then escorted to the nearest airport for deportation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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