One of Kentucky’s top recruits is in the news this week for an unusual reason. Bol Bol, the 7’2″ son of late NBA great Manute Bol, plays for Midwest Flight, and on Sunday, his coach Monte Harrison pulled his team off the court after the referees gave them their sixth technical foul. With his team down 71-61, Harrison forfeited, arguing the refs weren’t treating his team fairly.
“Who calls [six] technical fouls? That’s crazy to be giving out that many technicals to kids,” Harrison said, via ESPN. “And then one of the refs told one of our guys to ‘Shut the hell up and play.’ Who does that?”
It’s worth noting that this summer, LaVar Ball has made a habit of forfeiting games over what he claimed was bad officiating. In this case, Bol’s coach argued that the refs unfairly targeted his team because of Bol, and he finally decided enough was enough and pulled his squad off the court.
As you might imagine, the opposing coach had a few things to say about the forfeit.
“It’s not like they were getting beat by guys who aren’t very good,” Central Kansas Elite’s Clint Kinnamon said. “All of our guys are going to be college players. In some ways, it was kind of disrespectful to our kids a little bit because it was like, ‘Well, we’re getting beat by guys we shouldn’t lose to, so we’re going to take our ball and go home.'”
I really like Bol and he shouldn’t be judged by his coach’s actions, but Kinnamon has a point. I’m all for protecting kids, but forfeiting games in protest of the officiating sets a horrible example. Not only does it teach players that it’s okay to give up when something that’s out of their control doesn’t go their way, it’s pretty much the definition of bad sportsmanship. If this becomes the norm in AAU ball — which is already a circus — how will players handle bad officiating when a spot in the Final Four is on the line?
Watch video of the forfeit below:
Bol Bol’s team leaves after its fourth T. Down 71-61 with 6:27 to go to Central Kansas. pic.twitter.com/24xj8UFFTa
— Joanna Chadwick (@joannachadwick) August 6, 2017