Rivers’ dunk causes Thunder abandonment

Hank Rivers
Hank Rivers

WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club’s opening National Trophy game against Leicester Warriors on Saturday afternoon had to be abandoned due to the home team not having a replacement backboard and ring.

With 2mins-58secs remaining in the second quarter, Worthing’s Hank Rivers dunked the ball and it caused the ring to give way and snap off.

Rivers was given a technical foul due to the incident and after the Warriors shot their foul shots, the referees had no choice but to call a halt to proceedings.

Worthing were up 29-25 at the time after being 16-13 down after the first quarter.

Thunder captain James Brame said: It was very strange, obviously the first game of the season and we were raring to go. We started poorly and were 10-0 down early on which was a bit worrying, but we had just got off the bus and were a bit slow.

“In the second quarter we got our defence together and started to play and were playing well and took the lead. Then with a couple of minutes left a steal was played out to Hank Rivers and he went up for a dunk and the back board broke.

“He didn’t hang on it at all, we weren’t playing at their normal place and the back board was made out of, like, chip board and wasn’t made for our level of basketball. What with Hank at, like, 6ft8in and a fair few stone, it didn’t help, but I think if any of our guys had done it it would have happened.

“The Leicester coach was very upset about it as he thought he had tried to break the back board, but he didn’t, he didn’t even hang on it.

“It was all very strange and something that has never happened to me all the years I have been playing.

“The ref had to give a foul for hanging because they are the rules. I guess now it gets referred to the EBL and as we were leading they will give us the win or just void the game as it was a trophy match.”

Thunder will face their first home game of the season on Saturday night as they face Medway Park Crusaders in the competition (7.30pm), before travelling to Solent Kestrels in the first round of the cup on Sunday.