Australian basketball was at its pinnacle thanks to the international success of young superstar Ben Simmons.
But it’s been left with a black eye following a sickening brawl that took place in a World Cup qualifier against the Philippines.
The incident made international news, and in all of the carnage, one image has stuck out above all others.
Nathan Sobey became entangled in the mayhem and was nailed with a horrific cheap shot delivered by former NBA player Andray Blatche. But it was the second hit he received after all of the brawling had begun to settle down.
After having a chair thrown at the back of his head, Sobey turned to face the perpetrator when a security guard grabbed him to hold him back.
With his arms pinned by the guard, a hard shot was delivered to Sobey’s face by a Philippines team official. The same official was then seen joining in with the team for the tasteless selfie.
Former Australian basketball legend Chris Anstey called for the unnamed individual “to be arrested.”
“Coward puncher surely faces assault charges & life ban. Could have been so much worse,” TV presenter Jason Bennett tweeted.
Sobey was helped back to the bench by teammates as he appeared dazed following the cheap shot.
Miraculously, no Australian player was seriously injured. Basketball Australia CEO Anthony Moore slammed the actions of fans and team officials who became embroiled in the brawl.
“Whilst we accept our responsibility for our role in last night’s incident, what we don’t accept is the action whereby fans and officials actually get involved in the fray,” Moore told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday. “We find that absolutely unacceptable.”
The horrific footage has quickly circuited around the globe and led to the governing body FIBA announcing an investigation into the matter.
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