Basketball turns into basketbrawl

Posted March 23, 2007
Leah Heagy
Kyle Luhnow wanted to look his best as he coached one of the intramural basketball games last week. Luhnow is a sophomore and plays for the La Verne basketball team, which was why he wasn’t able to play in the intramural game. The event was held in the sports pavilion.

Eight of La Verne’s finest made a special appearance at the intramural basketball tournament Wednesday, but the La Verne Police Department officers were not there to participate in the activities.

After the final game the students who had managed to stay until 12:30 a.m. made their way out of the gym when police officers rushed in from different directions.

A few of thestudents began to laugh as they saw the first two officers in the doorway but then as the following six began to appear the laughter stopped. It became clear that they were not messing around.

Too bad the police were about 10 minutes too late and anything that may have needed attention had fizzled out by the time they had gotten there.

“We’re just out here to have fun,” junior Danny Robinson said. “So what if it gets a little crazy?”

In the final two games of the event, things got a little rough. The game between the African American Student Alliance and freshman Billy Nicolini’s team started off fine but then quickly progressed into a lot of yelling and even some violence. The AASA team was unhappy with some of the calls senior Johnny Botkin was making as the referee for the event.

“It’s all good, people get mad, stuff happens,” Botkin said. “It is all a part of the game.”

Once they found out that they were losing they responded with intense pressure on Nicolini’s team. The game was intense, not necessarily because either team was playing particularly well, but because at any moment a fight could have broken out.

In the midst of the angry ball playing freshman Ishmael Price got hit in the back of the head by junior Ray Hopes.

Price was upset and words were exchanged between the players.

They started yelling and there were threats of “taking it outside” but nothing ever developed. Price eventually left the gym and the final game between Nicolini’s team and junior Arman Shatrang’s team began. Before the final game the teams met and established that their game would not have any of the issues that the previous game had. Up until the final two minutes of the game the teams held to their promises. But when it came down to the wire and the Shatrang’s team was only up by one point the game got a little crazy. Any dignity that the teams had maintained before was lost in the final minutes.

It was like the teams were playing for gold medals, they were so serious, so competitive and so determined to win. Once again, after the game, fights almost broke out. Apparently the maintenance staff that was watching from above saw the commotion and called campus safety who then responded by calling LVPD. By the time officers arrived, everything had settled down and everyone was laughing about the night.

“We all know each other so it gets really competitive,” Shatrang said. “It takes a minute for us to cool down but now we’re good.”

Shatrang’s team won the final game by one point, so now it has bragging rights until the next intramural match-up. The Campus Activities Board sponsored event was not a complete disaster. The first day of the competition went relatively well, with minimal complaints. The only real issue was that the tournament was scheduled as a single game elimination, so four out of the eight teams only played one game.

There were many bitter mumbles about the single game elimination but with all of the other CAB sponsored events planned for the month of March it was difficult to find the time to have a longer process, said Kristina Vaughn, CAB games and recreation and intramural sports chair.

There was a good turn out and a fair amount of support for every teamthat competed. Make sure to keep an eye out for future CAB events scheduled throughout the rest of the semester.

Jillian Pena can be reached by email at

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