You can imagine that a high school basketball ref would get pretty tired of being harassed by parents of the home team, so it’s not shocking when an official decides he’s had enough and ejects a fan. It is pretty shocking if the fan and the referee wind up tussling, causing the fan’s son to be ejected as well, and the game to be abandoned.
(An artist’s rendering of the fight.)
But when you find out that the fan in question was using a walker, and the home coach says the ref started the incident? That’s downright bizarre. The SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER says that’s just what happened during a boys high school basketball game between Lake Washington and Bothell on Saturday, as a referee got into with a player’s dad who is using a walker after recovering from recent prostate cancer surgery.
Referee Brandon Lorain isn’t talking about the incident, which you can understand since Rob Storm, the father of Bothell player Robby Storm, has said he is going to press charges. But Bothell head coach Ron Bollinger is talking, and perhaps unsurprisingly he’s siding with his player’s dad:
“That was a major embarrassment,” Bollinger said. “That parent is recovering from surgery, is in a walker and he got tossed to the ground by a referee who challenged him to come onto the floor. The official got in his face and broke all the protocol for that situation.”
Other people, including Lake Washington fans, have a differing view. Everyone agrees that Rob Storm had been giving the referees and Lorain in particular a hard time during that game. At one point, a loose ball rolled out of bounds at Storm, and he kicked it towards the officials (which is kind of understandable - would you want to bend down to pick anything up after prostate cancer surgery?).
After that, things get fuzzy. Many witnesses say that Storm wasn’t yelling while kicking the ball back to the court, just returning the ball, while others say he was giving some lip to Lorain. At which point Lorain ejected him, they got entangled as Storm turned to leave, and all hell broke loose. Robby Storm came running over after he saw his dad go down and pushed Lorain away, leading to his immediate ejection.
The game was suspended early in the fourth quarter with Lake Washington leading 49-39. It could be made up as early as Friday, when the two teams are scheduled to meet each other again. I’m assuming they’ll have a different officiating crew.