Hales Franciscan star Nate Minnoy had enough. He was playing in a very physical game against Bloom in Rich South's Big Dipper holiday tournament on Dec. 29. He was getting beat up down low, wasn't getting any help from the officials and had come to his wits' end. After hearing enough from a fan in the stands, who was later reported as the father of a Bloom parent, Minnoy went into the stands to confront the spectator. When the security jumped in to break the two up -- no physical confrontation was had -- the referees whistled Minnoy for a technical foul, his second of the game. IHSA rules state a player must sit out his team's next game if called for two technicals in one game. Hales Franciscan went on to lose the next day in the championship to Thornton, falling to 11-4 on the season. On Monday, officials at Hales decided to give Minnoy an additional two-game suspension which was approved by the IHSA.
OK people, here's the truth.
Yes, I did go into the stands last Wednesday at the Big Dipper holiday tournament. And, yes, I did go to confront a heckler. A lot of people want all of you to believe that it is was honest heckling, but it really wasn’t. This guy was telling another player out on the court how to guard me and his instructions were to play physical because I didn't want to feel the pain and I'm a big whatever-you-want-to-fill-the-blank-with.
In a very physical game, terrible officiating and with a lot of emotions flaring, the stands incident happened. So a lot of people say, ‘Why go in the stands?’ And I say, because it was the only way at the time I could express myself. No, I do not want to still fight the heckler or anybody on the team.
The players from Bloom were only doing what they were allowed to do. The officiating was the worst part of the game. They clearly saw what was going on and wouldn’t clean up the game. Why? I don’t know. I want to say the officials expected me to play through a lot of fouls and I do, but it helps to know that they are going to call the game fairly. But they did not and I wish the IHSA would look into the last two games I played at the Dipper. The tapes will show that it was a three-way street in this incident between me, the officials, and the heckler.
But as you all know I got a two game suspension from the school and the IHSA approved it. I think that the punishment fits the crime and I'm glad this whole mess is finished.
From here on I want to find a way to help my team and laugh in the face of adversity. My final goals for the year are to win the Catholic League and win State, and no one will get in the way of that.
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