For at least one night in Utah Valley, a basketball brawl didn’t begin with an opening prayer. Utah Valley’s pastime of basketball brawls found a national audience as the latest instance occurred at a Utah Valley University basketball game, instead of the usual LDS meetinghouse.
UVU hosted New Mexico State in a late-season match with the top spot in the WAC in the balance, and pulled off a thrilling 66-61 overtime win after a late run and clutch freethrow shooting. When the final buzzer sounded, elated green-clad Wolverine fans spilled onto the court in celebration; simultaneously, NMSU’s point guard K.C. Ross-Miller hurled the basketball at UVU’s point guard–the coach’s son–Holton Hunsaker, striking his leg.
The convergence of these two separate events allowed hundreds of former LDS-churchball devotees to writhe ecstatic in a large-scale basketball brawl they’ve dreamed about for years. The melee involved players, fans, coaches, and students. Coach Dick Hunsaker, whose Craig Sager-ish lime sport coat looked like Mountain Dew in ceramic, scrambled around the court to protect his players from wayward foam fingers and possible suspensions from the altercation.
“More, like basketBRAWL, right?!,” said a nameless doofus hopping Ostertag-ly around in a grandma’s-couch-green neoprene full-body suit before his legs succumbed to an off-balance, red-faced assistant coach’s chopped-oak fall.
Footage shows at least two thrown punches connecting; one a UVU fan/small forward of the Springville 11th Ward in a bandana swinging at a NMSU player, and a NMSU player striking a UVU fan/center of the Orem Apple Blossom 2nd Ward. No temple recommends have been revoked thus far, pending review from WAC officials.