Basketballer's 'breathtakingly dirty' play shocks America

Blake Schuster | Yahoo Sports

A high school basketball player in the US has been slammed for an incredibly dirty act of poor sportsmanship.

During Hanover’s victory over Centralia to advance to the title game, Thomas Atkins was racing down the court for a fast break dunk when he was ruthlessly shoved from behind and into a support beam for the hoop.

The video shows a clear two-handed push and it’s not even remotely close to a basketball play.

Watching Atkins bounce to the floor is painful just to watch.

Unsurprisingly, Centralia was immediately called for a flagrant foul.

The shocking push. Image: Twitter

The incident occurred during the third quarter, and while Atkins was initially taken out of the game, was able to return and finished with 18 points for Hanover.

US website Deadspin has labelled it a “breathtakingly dirty, dangerous foul”.

“Here is an absolutely awful, perhaps criminal play,” Chris Thompson wrote.

“Perhaps the most unbelievable part of the video is that a massive brawl did not immediately commence.”

Watching the gym react in horror to the foul is one thing. Watching Hanover’s bench restrain itself is quite another.

In the short term, it’s hard to imagine not wanting to run onto the court to back up your teammate.

In the long run, advancing to the state title game without having any players suspended is the best revenge out there.

Kudos to those boys for keeping their composure and knowing a championship will feel better than any immediate retaliation would have.

Tim Whelan Jr of USA Today said: “No matter a game’s intensity, there is no place for fouls like this one.

“For that split-second any hit can do serious damage given the player’s vulnerability and the distance he has to travel to the ground.”

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