When a A UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) basketball fan ran on the court and confronted Hawaii coach Gib Arnold during a Big West Conference game Thursday night, that was shocking enough. But more surprising? How he simply waltzed back into the crowd and resumed his cheering, no security to be seen.
Sure, the man was eventually escorted out. But the scene didn’t play out like we’ve come to expect when fans usually inject themselves into the field of play. There was no epic takedown. No burly security guard. No handcuffs.
The UCSB fan stormed the court while Arnold was arguing with the referees after Hawaii’s Brandon Spearman was called for an intentional foul.
Hawaii forward Christian Standhardinger responded by pushing the man away from Arnold. Teammate Garrett Nevels also shoved away the fan, who gestured for the players to come after him as he backpedaled off the court. That’s when he went back into the stands.
The tense scene came a week after New Mexico State’s K.C. Ross-Miller hurled the ball at Utah Valley’s Holton Hunsaker seconds after a game in Orem, Utah, triggering a brawl that involved fans who came on the court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.