A Cairns Taipans basketballer has been banned for an entire NBL season for throwing a ball at an referee during a recent semi-final.
At the end of game two at Perth Arena, Cairns forward Tony Mitchell casually walked up to Wildcats guard Bryce Cotton, congratulated him and then took the ball out of his hands.
Mitchell, clearly none too pleased with being swept aside by the Perth Wildcats in their semi-final series, proceeded to whip the ball at referee Vaughan Mayberry, hitting him in the hip.
“Whether it be at the lowest level or the NBL and NBA at the professional level, referees must be protected. Any intentional physical contact with officials will not be tolerated,” NBL tribunal chairman Tony Nolan said.
Meanwhile, Perth will play the Illawarra Hawks in the NBL Finals after the Hawks beat the Adelaide 36ers in their semi-final series.